As a child, I remember fun Christmas mornings with mom and dad and my brother. As an adult, Christmas was…let’s face it, I was bahumbug about it. Then when I had kids, the magic came back seeing the twinkle in my son’s eyes. Then my baby turned into a toddler…which brings us to this post.
The twinkle in his eyes was still here this Christmas season, but then so was something else. Selfishness. Or greed? Maybe I don’t even know.
When my parents walked over for breakfast on Christmas morning, I asked my mom when my brother and I started to understand the Christmas story…her response: “when you were like ten!”
You see, my deepest desire is for my children to grow up knowing and loving and believing in Jesus, as that is our entire purpose on this earth…so I wanted to continue the tradition of reading Luke 2 on Christmas morning. We started reading Jesus’ birth story in the LEGO Bible last year, thinking the photos would help him…
Z’s response after I read the first verse this year: “Presents! Presents!” And he didn’t listen to a word after that.
I tried not to be crushed, he’s very young, but it’s never too early to start.
When we are born, we have a sin nature, we are all about self…we live in the flesh rather than the spirit. All of that changes as we grow, learn and experience God.
I have to remind myself of that.
He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know.
I think I was just taken aback because every day, he asks to pray at the dinner table, at bedtime…he is polite and says “please mom” and “thanks mom,” we talk about Jesus, he goes to children’s church…yet all he seen on Christmas Day was the brightly wrapped boxes under the tree.
And when he unwrapped them all…”more presents please, more more presents.” No “thank you” just “more.”
And this isn’t me being selfish wanting to be thanked for material things…this is me struggling with childish desires of material things.
I was there before, as I’m sure you were, too.
I went through a brief moment of mama-failure…but then realized it’s not my failure, it’s just kids being kids. I’m sure next year will be dramatically different for Z and we will go through this all over again with C. Or maybe she will surprise us like she constantly does. Either way, we will embrace the Christmas season for what it is, and not get caught up in how our toddlers respond. They’ll understand soon enough.
I’m praying for patience, for myself, to not grow weary in teaching my children about the true meaning of Christmas (and life itself!) and I pray that my kids will learn to follow, obey and love God in their own timing, making their own decisions and following His promptings.
My prayer is for all parents, no matter how old your children are.
May you go through this Christmas and New Year season trusting God with your children’s lives, and may YOU always remember the reason for the season as well.