Last year I heard of the idea for gifts to get your kids 1 thing they need, 1 thing they want, 1 thing to read, and 1 thing to wear. I loved the idea – then forgot all about it.
In this house we try and keep the real reason we celebrate at the center of our focus. We don’t do santa, he doesn’t come to our house. We talk about how Santa isn’t real, that he’s bassed on a person who was real a LONG time ago, but that jolly little man in the red hat isn’t real. We try and do the Jesse Tree (yeah, we are about a week behind at this point) we read books that have a Christ focus. But we also try and keep it fun and light hearted, because it is a joyous time of year.
I’ve been really struggling the last couple days with the message I am or am not sending not only to my daughter, but to others around me. We say that Jesus is the centerpiece, but somehow, with all the stuff shoved on the overcrowded table, the centerpeice is just something else there. Instead of making it a point to do our Jesse Tree devotional each night, Inara gets sent to bed early because she’s not acting right and it just gets skipped, or actually disciplined away. Instead of trying to limit the HUGE pile of gifts under the tree, I find myself working hard to finish more clothes/PJs/Toys and other handmade items so that there are more things to unwrap without having to spend any more money, because well, our budget is maxed out. Why can’t I just content myself that she’ll have something fun to unwrap and she’ll be happy with that. Instead she’s going to see ALL THOSE PRESENTS and not pay attention to what she’s ripping open because she’s just too darn excited to open them ALL.
What am I setting her up for – all of us up for? I struggle with this year after year, and while I’m better now than I used to be – it continues to nag at me that I have to fight it off with a stick each year. Not only do I feel like I’m wearing cement shoes to move forward in setting the sites on God and not on EVERYTHING ELSE that sparkles, and glitters, and makes noise, and lights up, and requres 458 AA batteries, but I have to fight back urges in order to maintain the groun I’ve gained using my BABY steps in years past.
A few friends linked to this blog post today on facebook. I thought it was great, totally worth the read. but I started feeling so overwhelmed about 3/4 through that I couldn’t even finish. It seemed to just compound my guilt. Why can’t I do more – why can’t I set my proirities in a clear line? I have to remind myself that I am doing better, and making progress, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like ENOUGH. I just say – well, next year we’ll try harder or do more for this, but then it just doesnt happen.
Another part of me wants to rebel, lash out, and go in the total other direction. Take down the tree, the lights, the ornaments, the stockings. We have a HUGE 7 foot dazzling tree FRONT AND CENTER in our living room. My natitivy collection is shoved onto our matle off in the corner. I collect them, but then just stick them off to the side. What does that say about our focus?
Don’t mean to be debby downer or whatever, just needed to share what’s running around in my head with the hopes that giving it a voice will help to sort it out and calm it down.