Teaching Your Children the Meaning of Christmas


the meaning of Christmas
Do you think Christmas has become too commercialized? Have we truly lost the meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, and giving to others?  I want to share an experience that I had picking a child to sponsor from the Angel Tree in Walmart.  I sponsor a child from either Walmart or Kmart each year, but I choose to walk away last year without purchasing a gift.

Why because the children were asking for expensive game systems and games.  I did a calculation on at least 2 or 3 children’s wish list and they totaled hundred of dollars each. I could have selected a few items from the Angel’s card, but I was left wondering what we’re teaching our children.

You’re asking for charity that equates to hundreds of dollars and obviously feeling no guilt about the list you have submitted. I have sponsored a child for years, and that was the first year that I witnessed these types of items on their wish list. I felt bad that I walked away, but I was so shocked that I felt it was best for me to leave the store.  Can anyone say holiday stress?

I understand that many parents are out of work, and they will be unable to meet their children’s wish list.  But if you’re unable to buy expensive gifts don’t expect others to take up your slack. Our priorities in this country puzzle me.  We act as if someone owes us something, and it seems this type of thinking is being passed on to our children.

I understand the children want the latest toys and gadgets, but my thought is that their parents should try to buy these items used if possible.  My issue is about values, no more and certainly no less. Simply put, don’t pass the financial burden on to your fellow citizens who are trying to be charitable.    

To keep cost down during the holidays I started making many of my gifts.  Also, I buy clearance items at the end of the season for the following year.  I crochet and make scrapbooks and gift baskets for adult members of my family.  Also, I set a budget of $50.00 for each of the teenage children in the form of a mall gift certificate.

I don’t have time to bang my head trying to figure out what the teen would like. Can somebody say holiday stress again!  The siblings in my family stopped exchanging gifts years ago.  We only purchase for the children now.  That really helped eliminate holiday debt.  Furthermore, I have a Christmas Club where I set aside money each week throughout the year for my grandchildren’s gifts.  I host Christmas dinner or a gathering for my siblings, and I’m grateful for their company. That is gift enough for all of us.  I refuse to belong to the debt club. I relinquished my membership years ago, and I surely will not go into debt for someone else.

Parents get real because the world doesn’t owe you or your children anything.  We must learn to make our way in this great country.  If times get a little rough be grateful for any assistance you receive; however, don’t take advantage. Teach your children that the holidays are not only about receiving, but giving and spending time with family and friends.

Focus on keeping your children warm, keeping a roof over their head and food on the table. Coats, shoes, hats, gloves and necessities for school should be at the top of the lists if you’re seeking charity.  If you want a fellow citizen to purchase a toy or electronic item, it should be reasonable.   Just saying!

Finally, what’s your thoughts on the commercialization of Christmas? Do you go into debt on Christmas gifts? I would love to hear your opinion about the Angel Tree I encountered. Please leave us a comment.