Monday, December 11, 2006

New Design and Christmas Greed

I've been wanting to change up the blog for Christmas since Thanksgiving, but I never got around to it. Now that we only have 2 weeks left until Christmas I thought I would at least change the colors and pictures for the rest of the holiday season. And I have to tell a little story because as I was putting the quote in there about the meaning of Christmas being in the hearts of children, it made me laugh. Two weeks ago, I was having one of those days where as sweet as Isabella is, she makes me feeling like I am doing something wrong as a mother. She was really in a rare mood, rather cranky, into everything (that's not new) and this was right after we had been sick so I thought that she was probably just needing to get out of the house, we hadn't been out for 3 days. So I took her to the library to get some books, play on the computers, etc. Well, while we were there she threw an awful fit! She's by no means a perfect child, but she is pretty easy going most of the time and I haven't had her throw a big fit in public before. After a quick trip to the bathroom, we checked out our books and went to Target. And of course we had to look in the toy secion. Ok - I know that I mentioned a couple posts ago that I want Isabella to learn about giving, but I have to say that along with that we are also having fun getting her gifts for Christmas and we have mentioned to her that she would be getting presents for Christmas, especially when we are in the toy section and I say "We're not going to buy any toys, maybe you'll get some toys for Christmas....." Anyway, so this day I'm already feeling like I'm doing something wrong for this child to be behaving unlike the angel I thought I was raising her to be. :) As we were shopping, I mentioned Christmas and I asked "Do you know whose birthday is on Christmas?" To which she replied excitedly "BELLA?!" "No, its not Bella's birthday, its Jesus' birthday" My hopes of feeling like a good mommy were shattered when she said "BUT I WANT PRESENTS!" I guess that day the true meaning of Christmas wasn't in Isabella's heart at all. I was definitely hoping for a little bit sweeter response than that. :) I decided not to even waste my breath that day talking to her about Christmas, but we have since talked about how it is Jesus birthday and I asked her if she thought we should give Jesus a present for his birthday. She said yes, and then I asked her what do you think He would like. She said "A comb?" Me: "No, He.." Her: "A shooter?" (she bought Garrett a little disk shooter at the $ store, so I guess she thought Jesus would like one too) I then tried to explain that we didn't have to buy Jesus a gift He just wanted our hearts and for us to love him, "Do you love Jesus?" Her: "Yeah,...(pause) I hungry, I want a waffle" I'm so glad that Jesus loves hearing the responses of little children. :) Right now, she is actually walking around the house with baby Jesus in her hand (from a nativity set a friend bought her yesterday) and she's singing a little song "My baby Jesus, baby Jesus, ....jingle all the way, ......" :) Ok and since I've already asked for suggestions on how to teach your kids about giving, what about the greed? I've always wanted to make sure we teach our children to be thankful for anything they get and right now Isabella actually is really cute when she gets things. I told my mom the other day that I hope Isabella is like this for everyone at Christmas. My Aunt Norma can probably vouch for this because last year at Isabella's birthday party she bought her a cute little outfit with frogs on it and as soon as Isabella pulled it out of the bag she gasped with excitement. Such a girl to do that over clothes. :) And just the other night Kenny bought her a little Cinderella cup for rinsing her mouth after brushing and Isabella keeps saying "Thank You Daddy" anytime she sees it. But those aren't on Christmas, on Christmas I know we have gifts for her, my parents will have gifts for her, my brother/sil will have gifts for her, so how do you teach your kids to not be greedy, how do you at this age, get them to open their presents and not ask for more -- I'm so afraid that in the midst of all the activity she will become overwhelmed with the excitement and overlook the presents as she opens them and just want to open more. Is she too young to understand? Should we not expect too much this Christmas? Hopefully she will be her normal cute, give her a sticker and its the best gift around, self -- but if not when can you really expect them to understand when you talk to them about greed?

4 comments:

kelly said...

I like the design.

Greed, eh?

Well, as with everything, it is an ongoing lesson... they aren't just gonna get it down pat in any one holiday season . . . they will have to learn it and re-learn it and all of the new ways it applies each year as their wants and experiences change ( as trends and "must have toys" change too)

I wouldn't expect too much from her this year, but you can guide her through gratitude. It may have to be you who leads, but it will still be a lesson in appreciating the gifts. You can spend time with her as she opens gifts, talking about two or three little details that make the gift special, talk about the special time that the giver must have spent picking out just the right gift for Isabella and "isn't it nice" and there is nothing wrong with reminding her to say Thank You in between opening each gift...

If it is possible- depending on how you do things traditionally, you can space presents out so that they aren't opened all at once... two good things happen if you can muster it-- there is time to really appreciate each gift and the fun stretches longer into the day....

If you are going to someone's house where there will be a gift exchange, there is always the classic "pep talk" on the way over-- explaining that gifts were picked with love and we wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so lets be sure to say Thank You and Be Nice about any gifts we may open...

Truly, its one of those "Do the Best You can- leave the results in God's hands" lessons. YOu're working against Human Nature after all -- we all like to get and get a lot... even as adults, our Father is patient as we learn these lessons over and over too...

Most adults understand that kids get excited about all the gifts- in fact, more than not, we adults like to indulge kids and live under the banner that "Christmas is for kids" -- so for those that give gifts-- especially sweaters and such :) it will do them just as well to know you are TEACHING Isabella manners and gratitude - to hear you remind her to say Thank You and draw attention to what makes that gift special , as it will if she remembers for herself to spend equal time admiring each gift, say thanks after each and throw in a "What, there's MORE? You SHOULDN"T HAVE!" every once in awhile :)

Michelle said...

I wish I had some advice for you but as Kayla is only 3 we're not much farther ahead. I think it might be too young to really understand but I also think you're wise to think about this beforehand and to also realize she might become overwhelmed. Maybe if you notice signs of a breakdown before it happens you can divert it by taking a break or something. And you're not a bad mom because she had a tantrum - being a parent isn't always easy!

melva said...

I think that Isabella will do fine this year. I found that with Casey, she will sometimes stop long enough to play with the toy she got, or look at what is in the box a little closer before she moves on to the next. I try to get all of the kids to tell me who each gift is from as they are opening it so that they can remember who to thank for what gift, plus it slows them down a little.:)
But I have also found with my experience that the girls go slower to enjoy the moment longer and they tend to like clothes a little better than the boys.
Cody was bad about not looking in boxes that were the shape of clothes boxes one year, so the next year I wrapped all of his presents in a clothes box. Trying to show him that you can't judge the gift by the box, and hoping that he would appreciate the clothes a little more.
So now we tell him he is getting nothing but underwear and socks.:)
Merry Christmas DeAnna!! Don't worry so much, you are doing a great job with those girls. All kids have their little temper tantrums, even in public.

Shawnda said...

ahhhhh...the ongoing question in parenting of "when" and "how"!!! YOU are doing GREAT as a mommy - there's NO doubt about that! Just the fact that you are asking these questions shows your love for your children and that you are INTENTIONAL!!!! : ) We're right there with you this year....so I don't have any pointers : ( But I'd love to hear how it goes after Christmas, and we'll let you know too! : ) Let me know if you learn any good pointers!!! : )