As the holiday season approaches, I know that many parents struggle.  The gift giving experience can be disheartening.  Other children grow into new stages quicker than parents can keep up.  One minute they are stacking blocks and the next minute they are playing Barbie / GI Joe kingdom. 

The truth of the matter is this.  Many of our children take a little longer to get to Barbies and G.I. Joe’s.  I know some parents find the rows and rows of toys overwhelming during this holiday.  I’ve talked to parents who admit to waves of sadness when they look and realize they are still shopping in the same section of toys they were last year.  I admit…. I have done the same.  I can remember being at Walmart earlier this year, scouring the toys for a gift for a friend’s child.  I found myself crying.  *sigh*  I fought the tears, but I allowed that part of me to grieve while I shopped.

This morning, I woke up and felt the need to write a Merry Christmas note to all the families we have been blessed to know this holiday season.  As I sat down to write this, I found myself pondering the Christmas season and changed gears a bit.

How to Have a Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the spirit of giving.  Although many people view this spirit of giving in the very literal sense… Gifts.  What if the spirit is what we need to focus on?  This Christmas I will not dwell on the gifts Alexander has not “matured” into playing with.  I will, instead, dwell on the Gift that is Alexander.  I have another Christmas to hold my baby.  I have another Christmas to wake up and see his sweet smile.  I have another Christmas morning to hug him.  Think of all the money I am saving this year by not succumbing to the commercialism of getting every new toy out for him.  “Santa” may bring him a gift or two… but surely there is a gift or two that Alexander doesn’t have.  And… Maybe next year he will be ready for G.I. Joes. 

But you know what?  Even if he isn’t – next year I am going to celebrate another year with my baby.  I am going to Celebrate the Joy of Life.  Toys do not make Christmas the holiday of our hearts.  People do. 

Merry Christmas.


3 Responses to How to have a Merry Christmas

  1. Ross says:

    Beautiful sentiment, Kristen. I could not agree more!

    A very Merry Christmas to you and your family too.

  2. KevinO says:

    I have to agree with you completely, and it’s not just during the holiday season, but all the time. As much as it would be great to have Kendall doing things that most 4 year olds do, it’s a gift to have her continue on being a much younger 4 year old. I catch myself saying “they are growing up too fast”, but not with Kendall… and that’s a good thing.

  3. shirley bidnick says:

    When Rochelle was young we tried to celebrate her birthday with toys and clothes she didn’t want or need. I wanted celebrations to be special, but toys and clothes didn’t matter to her. Eventually she taught me to show my love by spending time with her and doing things she enjoys. I asked other people to do the same. She has taught us all to move away from meaningless materialism. There are children who want and need toys and clothes. Rochelle just wants me to sing to her, off key, and go for very long walks in her special needs jogger.

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