I’ve Seen the (Christmas) Light!

As a parent, we all want to provide our children with a magical Christmas filled with love and memories. We also want to see their little faces light up with wonder when they wake up Christmas morning and peek under the tree.

This year, I thought I would fail. Many things have come up in 2017 that left me short on Christmas funds and I was worried. The closer December 25th came the more I felt inadequate in giving them the holiday that my kids deserved.

A few days before Christmas I sat and wrapped the four modest gifts for each of them, with both a sense of hope and a sense of sadness. But let me tell you; less really is more.

In past years on Christmas morning they would get up and jump up and down at how full the tree looked. Overwhelmed with gifts, they would start to lose steam half way through and most of their gifts were left forgotten and buried and by the next day they were bored. They wouldn’t want to play with any of their new toys and they would start to act out and appear stressed. This always frustrated me as “Santa” who has worked hard all year to give them a fantastic Christmas.

This year was so much better. We all sat together around the tree and they opened their gifts together, and while at first they looked around for more wondering “is that it?” soon it became clear that they were so happy. Every gift was appreciated and played with for long periods of time. They got games that we could all play together and we cherished that togetherness. I was so proud of them for being happy with what they got and they were so thankful. This year I learned that kids don’t need a million things under the tree to feel excited and happy. They appreciate what they have so much more when they receive a few thoughtful gifts.

So while it may be tempting to go overboard every Christmas when you see that “one more thing” that your kids will love, it’s okay to say no. It won’t do them any harm to have less; instead it might just make this your best Christmas yet.

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