While putting my kid’s Christmas lists on my phone last week (because, if they want me to remember, my phone has to remind me!) I stopped in my tracks. I have been beyond busy for the last several weeks. This time of year seems to breed functions to attend or projects to be completed. I have been running here and there like an absolute mad woman. It’s December. What’s a mom to do come December when the tree’s up and there are no gifts to wrap? Get that list and add shopping to the endless list of things to do. Why? Why mama? Why are we running ourselves ragged to buy things for our kids that they do NOT need? Our kids don’t need things! They need us!
As I sat in line at school waiting for my babes to come out, instead of making a list of what they “needed” for Christmas, I made a list of what they DON’T need. Here are a few things my kids do NOT need this Christmas. I’ll bet yours don’t either.
- Presents under the tree. They need our presence NOW! How long mama? How long are we going to rush from one place to the next? Hurrying our most prized possessions through the only childhood they will ever have? Our babies don’t need us to add yet another stop to our list. They need us to stop. Color with them in their favorite coloring book. Go outside and throw the football with your ever-growing man-child. Ask them how their day went – then listen. I’m not saying to forgo the whole gift-giving thing, I’m saying simplify. Our kids want us more than they want our stuff.
- A decorated house and an empty heart. I have been in some of the most beautiful houses around; they left me feeling uncomfortable and stiff. If you’re two year old wants her favorite bear on your HGTV-worthy Christmas tree, put it smack dab in the middle. Who are we adorning our homes for…? My daughter sat for 5 straight hours when she was four making a paper chain to go on the tree. I didn’t realize it then, but she was making forever memories while crafting that chain. She still talks about how long her chain was, and yes it’s on my tree 4 years later. My most prized Christmas decoration.
- To think Christmas is all about them. Christmas is about one child – they’re not it!
As I sit by the fireplace, Christmas music playing softly – pondering Christmas pasts, it hits me. I don’t remember the gifts under the tree from my childhood. The trip to Grandma’s, for her annual lemon pie and scavenger hunt – that I remember well! Driving away Christmas evening with Grandma and Grandaddy waving until we topped the hill and drifted out of site, I’ll cherish that site always. Moments. Mama, I’ve determined this Christmas I’m giving my family a priceless gift – memories. Will you join me?