Friday, December 19, 2014

The Facebook post that ruffled my feathers and got me thinking...

 Ok...if you have been on Facebook for even one second this season. I KNOW you have seen this post! It's been blogged about, fussed about, heralded and I have even seen it shared in a few of my local online marketplaces.  It's a "plea" from a Mom to all parents to "keep it small" when it comes to Santa. Basically, level the playing field with gifts from Santa to spare other childrens' feelings who may not receive the same caliber of gifts due to financial circumstances. Read below and then let's chat....
So, let me be honest and just say when I first saw this, my response was, "Tell me what to give my kids from Santa?!?!?!" And then I thought...and couldn't stop thinking. Well played original poster, well played. Instead of strategizing my, umm Santa's, gift giving...what if I used that energy instead to really focus on the life lessons I want my children to carry with them everywhere they go? Lessons that are way bigger than who got what for Christmas. Lessons that will hopefully become an integral part of their just "being". So many things ran through my mind and here are some of the top winners...NOT in order of importance.

1. Don't brag....it's tacky. 
And, remember...there is a difference between giving yourself a "shout out" for well earned accomplishments and true bragging. Bragging is consistent and done to show others how awesome you think you and your stuff is, and theirs isn't. Bottom line...people don't care about your stuff and it's just rude. Enjoy your goodies and consider sharing with others especially if you and your stuff are really "all that" 

2. Give to others, always. 
Give, give, give. Give your resources, give your time, give your talents, give YOU! Back to the original post... No, not every child is as privileged as the next. More than understanding that no, not every child is receiving an iPhone from Santa this year, by the way...neither are mine, I want them to understand so much more. I want them to understand that there are children who do not know if they will have dinner or breakfast, children who are drinking and playing in toxic water, children who live in war torn lands and are worried about just staying alive. I want my kids to be less worried about leveling the material gift giving field and more concerned with leveling the right to a safe, loving, nourished life for all children. 

3. Understand the REAL reason for the season.
For our family, the REAL reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. Yes, I know historically Jesus was not born on Dec 25...it's just a time carved out of the calendar to pause and celebrate this gift. We also enjoy Santa but it is a side note to the holiday. A super fun side note but not top billing by any means. Truth be told, gifts are a last minute thought. We JUST began and finished shopping for our kiddos this week...9 days before Christmas. And, that's early for us.  We are most excited about having some time away from school and work to just "be together".  Figure out what your real reason for the season is and share with your children.

4. Everyone is different
I have put a lot of effort into teaching my children that the reason for the season is different for everyone and everyone celebrates in their own way. And, p.s., not everyone celebrates. And, guess what else? That's ok!! We go to church on Christmas Eve, our neighbors may not...that's cool. We enjoy Santa, some of my children's friends' families do not practice...that's cool. Santa consults with each parent on the gifts they would like their children to receive. Yes, I've said that. I have even gone as far to explain to my children that Santa is very respectful of all families and their choices this season. Who knew Santa was so PC??? Seriously, deep in my soul I am an "I'm ok , you're ok" kind of person. And, I want my children to be, too.  We all have to share this space in our world and a little kindness, understanding and compassion will go a long way. I'm not going to tell you how to live your life and I would appreciate it if you would not tell me how to live mine. There's one disclaimer...I'm ridiculously Southern so if I don't like how you are living that life of yours, I'm gonna pray for you 😉

5. Speak less, Do more
You know the old saying "Actions speak louder than words"? It's truth people! Spend less time talking about what you're gonna do and just do it! And, guess what, you don't need an audience.  Some of the most amazing things you will do in life, no one else will even know about it. That's what will make it so amazing!

So, thank you original Facebook poster who tried to tell me what Santa should give my children for Christmas. You got me thinking about so much more!  Things that will stretch way past Christmas morning. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, beware of Krampus and Happy Winter solstice to all of my readers. Plus happy whatever else you may or may not participate in. And, to my fellow Santas...you do yours and I'll do mine 😉 And, remember, don't brag...it's tacky.




6 comments:

  1. When I saw this facebook post I thought of when my family would all get together and the kids were wondering why Santa brought some of the kids only books and others big gifts like at that time Nintendo. My siblings all had different financial status and only bought what they could afford and some of them traveled and didn't want to carry back all the stuff. I thought this is a great post.. but then I thought of my own childhood when some of my friends didn't even get Santa gifts as they were told there wasn't a santa and all gifts came from their parents. I didn't think of anything at that time except when I went home and asked my mom if there was a Santa... she told me that Santa is in your heart... After I got married, my husband couldn't figure out why we have a day to give great big gifts as Christmas is everyday and we should remember that and celebrate everyday instead of just one.

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  2. Great post - I had not seen this before today however my DIL and I were discussing this yesterday. Great points to ponder.

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  3. I think her meaning is good but (if it is a "her") but the wording and execution is totally wrong....I'd be more on board if she phrased it like you did. LOL Her's sounds a little passive aggressive...

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  4. I felt she raised good points. My husband and I have always downplayed Santa for other reasons (mainly to keep focus on Jesus). Mom and Dad give the big gifts and Santa gives something nice, but small. As a child, my dad was unemployed for a few years after a factory shut down and I do know what it's like to be the kid that got socks and underwear from Santa while other kids were getting big electronics or other expensive gifts. But I think I always sort of knew Santa was mom and dad, and it didn't bother me. But I do think we need to do what feels best to us as parents. Your ideas for teaching your children to give and keeping the focus on Christ are most important.

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  5. I haven't seen this until now and my initial reaction was annoyance that some stranger was telling me what to do in my house. Your post help to correct that reaction. We have 8 kids and a tight budget so we are careful with our giving out of necessity. We try hard to focus on Christ in Christmas and to celebrate the whole twelve days of the holiday. Thanks for the perspective.

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  6. I actually haven't seen this post on Facebook, but I appreciate you sharing it. Interesting point of view... I wish more people would teach their children the real reason for Christmas and yes, gifts are apart of that, but to remind them that material things are only material things.. But the way we treat others is everything.

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