It’s the morning after Christmas, and the merry feelings of family joy have now been replaced by the awful feeling of regret.
- You spent way more money on gifts than you intended. How could you resist? It was 50% off!
- In fear that Christmas wasn’t going to be magical, you made a last minute hail marry pass and splurged.
- Your kids are sitting in a mountain of excess and you’re thinking, “Maybe I went to far?”
It’s funny, this is almost a value that people are proud of:
“We spoil our kids on Christmas!”
Then what do you do? You complain the rest of the year that they have this crazy sense of “entitlement.” Geez, I wonder where that came from? Often times this desire to spoil your kids at Christmas comes from a really dark place in your heart.
- You’re making up for being a lousy parent- For yelling to much. For not spending enough time with them.
- First, this cannot be made up for with money.
- Second, it’s kind of insulting to the kids.
- You’re afraid your kids won’t love you if you don’t go overboard.
- This is a deep fear that needs to be changed. Immediate solution? Stop buying them things to mask it.
- If you’re divorced, it could be an inward desire to out do the other parent.
- There is nothing more obvious to a child of divorce, to see that their parents are fighting for their child’s approval at Christmas.
Take a deep breath before its too late
Just a quick reminder of what we are celebrating at Christmas:
- God gave up the luxuries of heaven to become a man.
- He chose to be born in a barn instead of the comforts that can be found on earth.
- He did this out of humility and as an example for the people we ought to be.
- We celebrate this by giving our children an XBOX One!
I will NOT spoil my kids this Christmas!
ALWAYS BE TEACHING, especially at Christmas. If you want great kids that become great adults, scale down Christmas and teach them 1 Timothy 6:6-10:
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”
It’s not too late. Wrap up the Xbox One and take it back to the store. They don’t know you got them one. If they are expecting one, you have already begun losing the battle of contentment. If they want one, they need to shovel driveways or get a job. Quit worrying about them loving you and start worrying about your job. One of the most important things you teach your kids is contentment.
What is a reasonable Christmas?
There is no magic number, but here is what I do:
- I try to figure out what other parent’s are getting their kids. Then I make sure my kids get below that. Humility……it’s worth it.
- I always fight to give my kids something practical for Christmas. Clothes, shoes or food. Not the extravagant expensive shoes, just shoes. If your kids are already dressed to the hilt, give them underwear. We literally give my son a block of cheddar cheese each year so that he can make quesadillas to his hearts content and he loves it!
- I always try to get one item, within reason, that they really want. Hey, it’s Christmas 🙂
- Put your time and money into something better. Something the kids really want but aren’t mature enough to ask. They want time with you. They want a relationship with you. Get them games you can all play. Buy them tickets to a movie that you can see together.
P.S. Do not go into debt for Christmas!
I know it’s Christmas. I know you can’t wait to see the look on their face. Is it really worth being a slave the rest of the year? You’re probably thinking, “Too late!” I once took back a elegant table I had completely assembled, then disassembled and took back in 75 different pieces. It’s never too late….NEVER.