Not that I blog consistently these days anyway, but I did want to let my avid readers know that I will not be posting again until after the new year. I'm sick, I'm tired, and I have an over-extender personality that just won't quit. It's my own doing.
But before I go.... :-)
I do want to throw some thoughts out about the holidays and having children. This year has been filled with uncertainty for me mostly in regards to Lila. How much does she understand? How do I instill a giving heart while indulging in my own secret love of Santa? How do I not let the commercialization of Christmas take over?
I read a blog in the past couple of weeks about how this family was bringing the Christ back to Christmas. Santa left the premises and all things Christmas were centered around the spiritual and giving nature that Christmas was intended to be. I wish I could remember the blog so I could accurately quote some of it. It was very well written. Anyway, the mom of this large family (or rather the parents I guess) decided to make this change while some of their children had already spent years of their lives leaving cookies out and throwing carrots in the yard. They were trying to undo years of what they had started in the first place. I applaud their efforts, but struggle with the validity of what they are trying to do and how much their kids will resent them for making such a big switch concerning such a big thing...something they themselves had originally made into a big thing.
Now I'm babbling. All of this is to say that I feel like there has to be a clear and solid balance. Someone has to have mastered it and I need that someone to step forward. In thinking about my own childhood I can tell you three things: 1) I knew Christmas was Jesus' birthday 2) I got more gifts from Santa than I could even begin to count 3) I got a lot more than I gave. In no way would I ever fault my parents for how they did things. I would say parenting these days involves a great deal more over thinking that it ever did when we were growing up. But, that's not to say that I don't want to think about things and really decide how it should go now before Lila starts to fully remember how it's been. Does that make sense?
She's two and a half so Jesus to her is someone in a storybook. Sometimes he's a baby and sometimes he's a man. He's also the main part of one of her favorite songs. That's the extent of it. Santa is a big jolly (albeit scary in person) man that will one day bring her presents. This part, above all of course, is on her mind daily. We took some toys to be donated but naturally she does not understand the "kids who have no toys" situation. We went to the dollar aisle and I let her pick out gifts for everyone in our family. She loved wrapping them and talking about who is getting what. We have made gifts together for neighbors, friends, and even daddy. But, at the end of the day she is still too young to understand a whole lot.
Therefore, I'm thinking ahead. What will I do differently next year? What will I do the same? How on Earth can I make Christmas about Christ and giving when I love the magic of Santa, elves, and reindeer? I mean, I am uber excited about having an elf on the shelf! If you've successfully done it or know someone who has please give me a shout. Because once Christmas is over chances are good I won't take/make the time to get a good grasp until around Thanksgiving next year.
Love you all and I hope this holiday leaves you feeling fat, happy, and blessed!