Monday, December 21, 2015

Wants and Needs -- or how I do Christmas

Saturday night, I spent quite a bit of time wrapping presents for my family. I know everyone does Christmas differently (and, truth be told, sometimes I have felt conflicted about how I've chosen to approach it), but I come from a family where Christmas is a big deal -- fun food, lots of wrapping, lots of time unwrapping.

Lest you think I'm extravagant in my approach, my kids know that I will often hold onto something -- like a bag of socks or lip balm or mechanical pencils for school -- and wrap it up for Christmas. Many of the wrapped gifts are of this ilk, actually. This year, I'm wrapping things like batteries and scissors and other things we just have as part of our supplies around the house. A couple of years ago, they each got a toilet cleaning kit!

I'm a cheap skate by nature and nurture, so my kids get a lot of 'no's during the year. Christmas is a time where I want them to feel some yesses. As I see it, God cares about what we need, and sometimes He also gives us what we want. I like Christmas to feel like a microcosm of how God works -- caring about both our needs and our wants. Not every want will be filled, but they are heard and known.

Over the years. I've come to realize that there is rarely One Right Way to do things like Christmas. Family traditions vary and personal approaches vary and that's ok. As I get older, with extended family, I'm grateful that there is less focus on stuff and more focus on relationships. I hope over time our little family will also transition in that direction. But for now, I will enjoy the fact that I still have kids at home and get to experience some of the childlike wonder of Christmas presents with them.

How do you do Christmas?


  1. I kind of like your ideas. Several years ago we had Christmas with our entire family at that time and there were a lot. One of my sons went around and found various objects in our house and wrapped them up and put them under the tree for Christmas morning. We had so much fun. One of the items was a favorite brush I had for my hair through the years and I would get upset when I couldn't find it. We all laughed so hard when I unwrapped that one. We have had favorite traditions and have always enjoyed different ways of doing the presents each year. Loved this one! Merry Christmas and I hope you have a really sweet Christmas celebration. Hugs~

    1. That brush story is awesome! We had so much fun this year. I haven't laughed that hard in a while. It was a very sweet, almost surreal day.