After 22 years, LOL the age of our oldest, my husband and I realized that we fell into the trap of commercialism. No, we knew it, we just turned our back on it and did what most of us do...kept buying.
What brought this on? Cleaning out 1 of our children's closets and finding a Mario Kart race track, a lego set, as well as a few other must have toys that our children just "had" to have, all unopened.
The day before, I stumbled across something called the 4 gift challenge again. I had seen it last year, but just scrolled past it because I had already begun my holiday shopping madness. This year, I didn't scroll past, I thought about it. After seeing the stack of toys, I searched for the challenge and then talked to my children about Christmas and how we have handled it so far...Shop, shop, shop, too many gifts, unwanted and untouched gifts, money down the drain. Then we talked about what it should be...family, love, our faith.
I was a little surprised that my children all agreed. Surprised because they are typical kids, LOVE presents under a tree, and always have lists of stuff.
They each found a spot to relax and thought, I mean seriously thought about what to put on their lists. I was touched to see that on their want list, was to have their older AF sister home for Christmas. I also realized that they took greater care when thinking up what to get or do for Daddy for his gift.
For my husband and I, we noticed that we are not stressed in line this holiday season. I haven't had 1 minute of, "Did I get everything? Did I get enough? I spent how much!?" We have had more game nights, movie nights, and more chit chatting.
I was telling a friend about the challenge the other day and was surprised at her response, "I wish I could do that." When I asked her why she couldn't, she said that her "kids would never go for that." Speechless. I never worried whether my kids would go for it, I did wonder if I could stick with it, if I could get it through my head that more doesn't mean better. I did.
Challenge accepted. Challenge smashed. Merry Christmas!