Recently, my two boys sat down with a local toy store’s Christmas’ ad and wrote their very first ever Christmas list.
It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever witness. They hovered over the magazine, looking at each toy and trying to sound out the words for each item they wanted so they could add it to their list. Theo patiently helped Oliver, a rare and beautiful thing to see. Then, they circled each item in the magazine, just in case.
Those lists are precious to me. Seeing Theo’s words that he carefully sounded out, mostly misspelled but not to the point that I can’t tell what he was going for. And Oliver’s, just a page of doodles and circles that I know – to him – means everything.
Last year, I was the very practical mom who did the popular gift giving trend of gifting the kids something to read, something they need, and something to wear.
I felt good about that decision last year. This year, I do not.
For one, brief window in time, the kids are at these golden ages where they are absolutely head over heels for toys. They are delighted by gifts. They want nothing more than a toy robot, a remote control car, and Star Wars figurines. There will come a day where the wish list is bigger and more expensive. And a day after that when the wish list is far less tangible and far more difficult to fulfill.
For now, my babies are still small and their wants and desires are small sized. They come in brightly colored packages with too much plastic and not enough educational value. But I simply don’t care. They are kids, first and foremost. And they will not be kids forever. For now, they don’t care about practicality or durability or sustainability or minimalism. And so, for now, neither do I.
These kids will continue to grow and one day they will have grown up cares and desires.
But for today, for this Christmas and a few after, they are simply my babies. Their bodies are tiny and their wants are few. This Christmas, I will celebrate the greatest gift I’ve been given – their lives – by honoring their tiny wishes in ways that will delight them, just as much it will delight their parents.
Because we were made to give good gifts. Our life is a gift, and our life should be a reflection of that gift. And so this season – we give. Not with any other aim in mind, than to reflect the very delight the original, benevolent gift giver, has in us.