Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here Come's Santa Claus

Ho. Ho. Ho.

I love the holiday season. I love all the foods, the family, the decorations.

I do NOT love the stress of the shopping. I love to give gifts, but it's really hard to find things for many of the people in my family! Plus I struggle with wanting to meet at least a few of my children's wishes, and staying within reasonable guidelines. Budget, age appropriate, more of the same old junk they already have, etc.

At 8, 7, & 6, we're asking for pretty big stuff. And, truth be told, I'd rather buy one big item that  they will truly appreciate (and be able to use for a long time) over lots of little cheap stuff. But I love seeing dozens and dozens of packages under the tree. The Christmas dilemma I struggle with is trying to create the balance of the Reason for the Season with my own selfish desires to give. I love to see the kids eyes light up on Christmas morning. I thrive on that. Shoot, when we built our house, I built a room around the entire concept of Christmas! Big window to put the tree in, fireplace with mantle for stockings, and openings upstairs into that room, where I can look down on Christmas morning, with my cup of coffee, across the expanse of ribbons and wrap and sprawled out children playing with new toys.

My oldest, J, has been asking for a Nintendo DS for years. Literally. At least 4 now. I'm thinking he's just about old and mature enough to get one. (Gulp.) He's a technological child anyway, having been proficient on the computer since he was very young, and is already the video game master. I know he'd love it, but I'm just not sure I want to encourage much more in the way of video game play. I certainly am not looking forward to the constant request of new games and such. And because the kids are all so close in age, once he has his, the other two won't be far behind.

Flip side of that is that we do hop in the car to go to my dad's a couple times a year at least, plus other random road trips, and those would be a nice alternative to videos and the like in the *cough* van. (Dad lives about 5 hours away. It's not a bad drive, but it's boring!) My kids are like me, they love to read, and are learning cross stitch, but can't do them in the car. Make's 'em sick. Game systems might be a nice change.

I also try to be conscientious of my husband, who is not a man of faith (yet!) - I made the decision a few years ago when I decided to focus more on God than myself that I was not going to push my husband in that same direction. Instead, I want to lead him. I have to find the balance of how to handle things in a Godly way while respecting my husband's difference of opinion.(Please note that he is not .. unaccepting.. Just adverse to religion, which I can understand and totally relate to. It's a whole other topic, and maybe one day I can find the right way to put it in words. Basically, though, he had things "shoved down his throat" as a young person, and it has turned him off to the entire concept. I refuse to shove again. It is my hope and prayer that I will show him that it's so much more than he was exposed to, without being nearly any of what he was exposed to.)

How do you balance faith and gift-giving? Santa and spirituality? And how the heck do you shop for people who have everything!?



  1. Good questions. I am just learning how to balance it all with kids since mine are still so young. But we are lucky b/c the grandparents get so much for them, so we don't have to buy as much. Helps a lot!

    As for faith, I was raised Catholic but don't agree with everything I learned. But I am still religious in my own ways and faith means a lot to me (and I renewed mine a bit after this past 12 months). Hubby isn't religious at all, but he doesn't mind that I am and am teaching the kids to be, too.

    So I can't really answer your Q I guess. Just thought I'd ramble over here a bit! ;-)

  2. Well, you are ALWAYS welcome to ramble on my side of the fence. My posts are always just rambles anyway! It's good to have co-rambling!

  3. I am a Bible study writer - and your issue about not being too preachy is one I just taught on recently. (check out - my October 28th entry "An Interesting Talk")

    My kids are 12 1/2 and 14 right now, but when they were 9 and 8 or 9 and 10, we got them Nintendo DS's (or Gameboys, and upgraded to DS's later? I's a blur..) Anyhow...we're a family of readers also - and I don't like too much screen time, either. But, for long car rides, and when one of the kids has to sit through the other kid's athletic events, it's a GREAT thing!!!! (And, we use it for long car rides OFTEN!!!) I was aprehensive about it, at first, too. AS far as games go, you can go to used game stores like Game Stop and get them discounted. Kids who purchase games often, will bring their games to Game Stop and your kids can buy them for a discounted price - they're used, but they work just fine. :) And, you don't need a ton of games to be busy on those things. (And, if you have two children, they can share their games - mine do, and it's also a good thing to give relatives for a gift idea...) :)

  4. Wow, great post! I struggle with this too. It see,s every year the kids ask for things and i look around and see the things they are asking for already exist among the piles of unplayed toys. But, the commercials make them look so cool, right?!

    As far as the DS goes, best gift I ever got my older boys...I bought them used at one of those game stores that buys and sells new and used stuff, got a great deal on them that way!!

    As far as the hubby goes,I relate to that as well. My hubby was raised to believe nothing. WHen we ment he started going to church with me (we met in the least Christian circumstances, but that's ok :) and he began asking questions. About 3 years ago, I though we were making great progress. After church one day, we went out to eat with a couple after church and when I went to the restroom they cornered him and pushed him over the edge. We left that church after that, as he fell so far back he stopped coming, there actioins totally turned him away. He recently started coming back to our new church with me, so we'll see?!

    SOrry about the novel, just wanted you to know you are not alone!!