Saturday, January 24, 2015

What Christmas is all about..

 Christmas morning at the Sweeneys.
The kids come into our room and ask the question, when can they open gifts? 
I tell them to go look for their stockings. The night before I hid them, giving the parents an extra 15 minutes of sleep. 
 If you have not started this tradition at your house you might want to begin. Especially if you are parents of kids who get up at 4 am. 

Mom and dad eventually wake up, pour ourselves some hot tea, sit down with the kids and begin the gift giving.  It is not my top priority every Christmas to make sure my kids get the same number of gifts.  However I do tend to give them similar types and usually that evens everything out. 
As it was getting to the end of the opening of the presents, more of them appeared to have Jane's name on them than Elliot. 
  A week prior I had did a quick overview of the gifts and I remember thinking that it was good, so I was surprised that I missed it.  
The reality is we don't need gifts. We are"rich" Americans who have a house with heat, running water, plenty of food, we own cars, you get the picture. Compared to a majority of the world we don't need anything. Celebrating Jesus' birthday does not require spending any money or spending any extra time to give something to someone else. 
 It is possible we have had this conversation on many occasions with our kids and that is why Elliot decided not to speak up.
 I kept waiting for him to say something, possibly even get upset. If he was bothered, he kept quiet. The things Jane was opening were smaller items, odds and ends, girl stuff. 
He might have said something if she had got an iphone 6 or something.  
I will not be buying my kids smart phones anytime soon.
  He admitted later he had been thinking she was getting more presents.

The last one under the tree is finally opened and it appears that everything is done. 
I am debating, do I say something to Elliot? Slip him five bucks and apologize or  do I let it go, since he will be getting more presents in a week from my family anyway?

Then I remembered the box in the basement.

 I had put it in the basement because it was heavy and had lots of pieces of in it. Pieces I was planning on separating into two or three boxes to wrap up and put under the tree.
 Back in November my friend offered to sell me a large lot of toys second hand. It was a set Elliot had actually seen at their house and wanted.

 I got really excited when I remembered the box and any guilt (justified or not) that was setting in,vanished as I ran down the stairs to retrieve it.

There you have the picture. Elliot opening an unwrapped, not even a taped box.  Inside it contained a large assortment of Imaginext pieces.

This stock photo is an example of Imaginext stuff.
I think I was so happy to see him get it, I turned the camera off shortly afterwards and never snapped a photo of him playing with them.

Every year I try to make our Christmas season less about stuff and more about people and Christ.  If I am feeling stressed and worried about buying gifts and meeting peoples expectations than I would prefer to not celebrate at all.  

 I appreciate the Charlie Brown Christmas Special because it is one of the few Christmas specials that mention Jesus. It is a great reminder that no matter how crazy or commercial an American Christmas can become, it cannot change the true meaning. 
John 3:16


Elaine said...

How true it is what you've said about Christmas being less about stuff and more about Jesus. And I agree about the Smart Phone gifts too - there is a lot of pressure these days to get one for them especially because their peers esp in Asia all seem to all have the latest gadgets and without doing anything to work for them. Here its an expectation that I do not agree with so like you, I am trying not to carve. Good to see your post - its been ages. Did you celebrate the lunar new year? Watch out for something on that from Alexis soon! Keep writing cos we love reading.

Alexis said...

sorry typo up there - CAVE and not Carve! LOL My brain is faster than my hand.

Sweeney Family said...

Thank you for your kinds words Elaine. I have been slow on writing lately. This year the lunar New Year passed us without much notice. I wish we had more connections in our community with people who celebrate it. Maybe next year we will host a celebration.