I've been busy lately.
Well, that is an understatement.
Basketball. Wrestling. Christmas parties. Christmas school service projects. Science project. History project. Adoption Auction. Collecting money. Mailing packages. Christmas shopping. Packing family of 8 for Christmas vacation across the ocean. Planning for house sitters. Cleaning. Baking. Concert. Hosting. Not to mention the normal everyday stuff of homeschooling, being a taxi, cooking meals, picking up house and laundry.
This will be my last post for a couple of weeks as we will be trekking across the country of Turkey with our family for 10 days. It's our second Christmas away in 17 years. Our first air flight for 24 hours with 6 kids. Pray for us!
In America it is NOT easy to keep the real reason of Christmas in the forefront of your mind....at least it's not for me. I have to be intentional about it.
I'm reading a book now that my sister loaned me called "Seven" by Jen Hatmaker. I'm only half way done because my time to read is limited, but it's one of those books that you can't finish without being changed in your heart. It's great timing for me to read this book - during the time of American indulgences - the holiday season.
I don't know about your family, but in the Fish House, the more we have, the more we want. Christmas can all too often be a time to rip open presents with glee, say a quick thank you and look around for the next gift to open. It disturbs me as a mother. We have so much already and don't NEED a single thing. Christmas is no longer a time to get the socks and undies that you really need. It's not even the time to get that one special toy you were longing for. It's become the time that parents spend hundreds of dollars in order to overindulge their children. And are they better for it? Are they more thankful? Does it assist them in focusing on the joy of giving? Does it help them to have a right world perspective? Does it increase their heart for others? NOPE.
This year we are not giving gifts. We told the kids that our gift is spending Christmas in Turkey with family. They will get stockings this year with a few little nick nacks, but no gifts. It's been kind of nice. So far things have been pretty simple. Small amounts of shopping. Minimal decorations in the house. And no gimmies as of yet.
I'm not trying to be a Scrooge this year or post something that makes anyone feel guilty or frustrated, but as believers I feel that we should constantly be intentional with our children about everything, especially celebrations. I also feel convicted that my own children have so much that it feeds selfishness. Last year I heard on Christian radio that the average person in America spends $150 on each child for Christmas gifts. That shocked me and then it saddened me. So this Christmas let's all try to be more intentional with how we celebrate and the memories that we make with our kids. What is the result of the $150 gifts? Does that line up with the character traits that we are trying to instill in them? Does it encourage thoughtfulness or selfishness?
I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas holiday that is filled with Christ. Merry Christmas!