Our Revised Christmas List

 In Parenting, Personal Stories

“My son picked up his last Christmas gift from the pile and said, ‘Is that all?’”

Is that all? The words echoed in my mind as I listened to this sweet woman agonize over how she wanted to buy her kids presents, but whenever her boys received gifts, they complained about not getting enough or exactly what they wanted. How sad—for her and her kids.

Her comments made me dig deep because like this woman, I want to give my kids things—a lot of things—but I don’t want them to evolve into “more, More, MORE” monsters. What to do?

As a lover of lists (and a bit obsessive), I sat down and began writing out all the gifts I want to give to my kids for Christmas. Karly has already asked for “waffle blocks” (and, really, how can you say “no” to waffle blocks?). In addition to some waffle blocks, here’s my new Christmas list for our family:

The Gift of Home
Getting those last, lingering boxes unpacked WILL happen before the end of the year. And we’re going to turn the girl’s bedroom into a colorful, kid’s place. They picked out purple and pink paint with a border of hearts, and now we need to finish it off with pictures. After over three years of transition, Karly and Kiki will finally have a little room to call their own.

The Gift of Experiences
Kayaking at the beach. Snowshoeing near Mt. Bachelor. Riding horses in the forests of Central Oregon. Camping in the Puget Sound. Kicking the soccer ball at the local park. There are so many things I’d like to do with the girls this winter and spring, adventures to open their eyes and increase their confidence, experiences of wonder that I hope they will remember for the rest of their life.

The Gift of Family
For Christmas we’re going east to celebrate with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. What a treat to be able to spend a week with the people we love! Karly is counting the days until she receives this wonderful gift.

The Gift of Giving
How can a three- and four-year-old help other people? I just discovered that there is a local outreach that provides food and clothing to needy kids across our city. And the best thing is, they have a once-a-week family night where little ones can come with their parents and help pack up the items. My hope is that the girls will love to give as much as they love to receive.

The Gift of Independence
Sniff. Sniff. We keep telling our kids to stop growing yet they continue to do so—at an incredibly rapid rate. I buy pants at Target. Two weeks later, I’m shopping for pants again. Of course, I’m not the least bit upset to be saying goodbye to diapers and the Trying Twos (& Threes), but as the girls develop their own interests, I know I need to slowly let go even more—one slow (ouch!) finger at a time.

The Gift of Faith
The rescue of The Good Samaritan, the triumph of both Joseph and David, and the victory of Christ rising from the dead. Karly loves hearing the Bible stories about risk and adventure and salvation. Kiki, on the other hand, only wants to hear one story—Jonah and the Whale (shocking, I know). But Kiki loves to memorize Bible verses, and it is such a delight to hear her say Psalm 23 or one of the many verses that she likes to quote. My hope and prayer as they continue learning these verses and stories, the knowledge of Christ’s redemption transforms their hearts and minds.

So there is my new Christmas list for our family. If you have any other ideas for gifts (or have an inside track on waffle blocks), please let me know!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Marylin's Mom

    The gift of experience – yes – bring them up here to experience Seattle coffee (decaf of course) 🙂

  • Mark Keefer

    Ummm, what’re “waffle blocks”?

    Great post Mel. You guys have a great CHRISTmas, and don’t be afraid to say “Ho Ho Ho”. You won’t offend anyone.

    Say ‘hey’ to your cooler than cool hubby for me.

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