Monday, December 29, 2008

Walking in the Grocery Store... 2 year old spied a box of fruit snacks with Spiderman shooting his web.

"Look Momma, Spiderman is signing 'I love you!'"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Mom, what's going on with my sandwich? It tastes good!"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Really in the Christmas Spirit

Christmas has always been a big deal to me. I have distinct memories of Christmas traditions and parties from my youth, while the rest of those years is pretty much a blur. The older I've gotten, the less it's become about material gifts. I've been pleading with my mom for several years now to not spend any money on me. My family and especially my parents have done so much for me all year long that if anything, THEY deserve a huge check from ME for Christmas. (Sorry guys, :( don't look for it in the mail just yet.)

Nick and I even forego presents for each other. I mean, sometimes one of us will find something we need or can't live without (haha) and we'll just say 'Get it. It will be my Christmas present to you.' Really, though, we get so many things throughout the year that we really don't need that it doesn't make sense to feel like we have to spend money (that we don't have) on things (that we don't need) that will loose the sparkle a couple days after Christmas. I know it's fun and exciting to have presents stacked under the tree, complete with the anticipation of wondering what's inside. But trust me, it's much more satisfying for us to know that we didn't waste money on a hastily bought gift and that we are all more than ok with just spending time together. Yeah, maybe I sound like a grinch, maybe my attitude will change when our loans are paid off. Honestly, though, I hope my children will be raised to not expect gifts. There's certainly excitement that goes with opening tons of toys, but where's the genuine thankfulness? We've all seen America's Funniest Videos of the kids that start crying when they open something they didn't want (the wrong toy, clothes, etc). It's because they expected something else. They expected to get exactly what they wanted. Now that $50 gift is a waste that made your kid cry (unless you win the big prize on AFV...then consider it an investment). When presents are the reason for the joy on their faces, the excitement in their voices, what gets pushed to the background? The presents from grandparents are inevitable. Cade will quickly learn that something will come in the mail around birthdays and Christmas. But honestly, how many people ask little children 'Are you all ready for Santa to come? What's he going to bring you?'. I'd much rather my kids be bubbling over to tell all about setting up the nativity and Christmas tree and how it's all in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Not about the latest and greatest cool toy that they've been begging mom and dad and santa for all year.

Contrary to how it may sound, I'm not all anti gift-giving. I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I wish I could give more. I love the Advent and Christmas season. I love decorating and listening to Christmas music, even before Thanksgiving. This year more than ever, I've really got that 'Christmas spirit'. I've made lots of decorations, we went out and cut down our first real tree ever, and yes, the Christmas music has been going nonstop. I just wish the world could slow down and realize what is happening. People accumulate debt just to have the perfect gifts. There is so much stress and heartache put on less fortunate families simply because they can't give their kids a 'good Christmas'. It's insane trying to keep up with what the Jones's kids are getting this year. All the while there is so much need in the world. So many people who really know what it means to NEED.

So, yes, I do WANT a new computer, I WANT some new slippers, I WANT a new coat, I WANT all the items on my Etsy favorites list to the left. But what do I NEED? Nothing. Jesus took care of my NEED hundreds of years ago. And so we celebrate the ultimate gift.