Christmas at the Wright House

As most of you know, since we had Lexie I have been trying to simplify our lives.  We set up budgets, save money where we can, and really, really try to down play material things for Lexie.  We don’t focus on “things,” toys, or shopping.  We also don’t tell her she is a “diva” or that she is perfect. I refuse to have a spoiled, bratty child.  Plus, I don’t think parenting is about giving our kids every single things they want.  This isn’t to say I want the best for her, but mostly I want enough for her (and Max, of course).  Enough.  What is that, exactly?

Enough is a roof over her head, warm clothes on her body, all the love her parents can give her, siblings whom she will consider her best friend one day…  Enough.  Not an abundance, not 15 plastic dolls assembled in China-none of which she plays with.  A few nice dolls she enjoys playing pretend with, sure.  As parents, j.tom and I really work hard to minimize her “need” of stimulation.  For the last three weeks, she has had NO tv.  I mean none.  I had gotten into the habit of letting her “rest” on afternoons she didn’t nap by letting her watch Elmo, or some other crazy, yelling, maniac muppet on Netflix.  No more.  And you know what?  I already see improvements in her behavior, he tiredness, her attention span, and her constant whining to watch Elmo.  Not to mention she is napping again (but I’m sure ths has more to do with her teeth being in, and her being potty trained for poopy now).

My point is, minimal is good.  Especially in today’s world everything is about stimulation.  I want my children to be able to sit in the floor with blocks and be happy.  I want them to go out back and play without whining non stop about being on the computer, watching tv, or playing on some game system.  Jtom and I just want enough for them.  Enough to make them happy, enough to keep them healthy, and enough for them to know their more than loved.

This brings me to advent and Christmas.  I went a little overboard this year for lexie …. A camera, train set, CD player and Christian/hymn sing CDs, a daily devotional for us to read together, a new Bible, some art stuff, an aqua doodle pad … Yea.  She’s getting a lot of new “things.”  I’m a little disappointed in myself but at the same time, the books and music are things I would have for her anyway, as she is getting older and we are going to start daily calendar and Bible time each morning. Anyway, my point is Christmas is so commercialized.  We all know this.  But do we really do anything to stay away from the commercial part, and veer towards the reason for Christmas?  Do we actually teach our children about Christ, or do we stick a creepy little elf in the shelf and tell them Santa is watching them?  I shouldn’t need to threaten my child with no gifts from Santa, or from me.  And what part of trphreatening our children with a lie is in any way Biblical, or special?  It’s not.

But there is so much special in the meaning of Christmas and Christ Himself.  There is so much power in the representation of that baby in the manger, the stocking we fill (at our house) with fruits
and symbols from the Bible, the star on top of the tree … There are so many more symbols in christmas that are special.  Not Santa.  Not toys. Not expensive decorations.  But rather traditions, Bible stories, and sharing the wonderful light and love of Christ without children whom then share it with others. That is why we celebrate Christmas.

There will be no Santa coming in our house.  Ever.  There will be gifts form mommy and daddy like baby Jesus got from the wise men.  There will be three per child (and technically if I group lexies gifts, she is getting three … And the train could be for Max) p and maybe one large one for the family together.  There will be advent activities and crafts, sharing aloud of Buble passages, and traditions.  The kids will know that Santa is something fun some families do, but in our house, we serve The Lord, and Christmas is about His gift to us, Jesus Christ.  Not a jolly old man in a red suit (although if you choose to do Santa, that’s what is best for your family.  I pass no judgement.  It’s just not what we want to do for ours).

This afternoon we went to church for the celebration of Advent.  I have the month mapped out for activities and crafts we will do focusing on Jesus and the spirit of the season.  None of them involve Santa, though sadly that’s what you find a lot of when looking and reading about Advent and Christmas activities.  Advent is about the birth of Christ, the love he brought to the earth for us, and the Love our Lord has for sending us His Son.  I just don’t understand how Santa fits into that …?  Many people say it’s just innocent fun, but I’m not so sure it’s all that innocent in the long run. I offered the idea to JTom that we not do Santa; He said no, he didn’t want our kids to be the “weird” ones who are different from everyone else.  (Yes, I know you see what is wrong with this statement … wait for it.)  I didn’t argue. Two days later he came back and at dinner said we weren’t doing Santa.  I asked why not, didn’t he want our kids to be “normal?”  He said Santa isn’t why we have Christmas, and after thought and prayer he knows our kids will be just fine without a “santa.”

All the “magic” of Christmas for my family can be found in a manger, the excitement LExie shows when we talk about Baby Jesus, and his love for us isn’t comparable to her screaming hysterically while sitting on some old man’s lap at the mall.  

Christ’s love for her is real, our love for her is real.  It is enough.  

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2 comments

  1. Ginny says:

    Great post, friend!

    I, too, struggle with Santa. Daniel wants to do it so we’re doing it, but in a very minimal way. People are always asking Nyla, “What’s Santa bringing you this year?” And it drives me crazy! She’s 2 and you’re pushing Santa on her. Ick!

    We don’t talk much about Santa around here so I’m just waiting to see how he comes into play over the next few years. My other issue with him is when they find out he’s not real, will they have trust issues with us and think God doesn’t exist? Trust is so important to me and I don’t want the girls to ever not trust me, especially about someone as important as Jesus!

    We doing 3-4 gifts each year. “Something they want, something to need, something to wear and something they need” will probably be our Christmas gift motto! And a couple of those may end up being joint gifts. This year they’re getting a teepee I picked up at a local crafts fair. And they’re getting crafty things and books. Easy stuff!

    I like seeing others focused on the Advent season and Christ. Why else are we celebrating? People will look at you strange when you tell them you’re not celebrating Santa, but it’s what you know is right for your family!

  2. Ginny says:

    The 3-4 gifts thing should say, “something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to READ.” That would cover everything for them! 🙂

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