I hate commercials.
I don’t think I can possibly overstate this.
I make our children DVR any TV shows they want to watch so that they can fast forward through the commercials. They know that the best way to make my head explode is to leave the volume on during a commercial. Or worse yet, to actually ASK me for something that they saw on a commercial.
No, no, no just all the no’s.
I came by this paranoia honest. My dad hated commercials too. And I’m not over exaggerating when I tell you that he trained us three kids to yell, “LIES!” at the TV anytime one came on.
We’re an endearing lot. And it’s the tradition I’m trying to pass down to my kids.
Because they don’t need to be schooled in the fine art of asking for things. That comes natural to us, doesn’t it? That itchy feeling when you just want something because you want it. And I’m trying to find ways to reign in that tendency for my kids. Because, if it were up to them we’d buy all the things all the time simply because they want to.
This all gets especially complicated in the Black Friday, Holidays and Christmas season, doesn’t it?
Because the thing is, of course I love my kids and I also want to give them things they want. I just don’t want them to think it’s all about them all the time.
See, complicated right?
So I just keep trying to find ways in between the gift planning and tree decorating and gingerbread house building (all of which I LOVE, don’t get me wrong) to make it easy for my kids to also get over themselves and think about what other people might need.
We started with this tradition and it’s quickly becoming a favorite. Along with setting up the Christmas village we inherited this year from two generations of grandparents who’ve been collecting it (oh my word, the MAGIC you guys!) and finally attempting Christmas cookies made from scratch.
But still the catalogs continue to pour into our house without us ever having signed up for them and the TV keeps preaching its propaganda about all the things we MUST HAVE in order to feel beautiful or young or happy or whatever else we’re supposed to feel while riding that light up, pink, sparkly unicorn that my daughter is hypnotized by.
So this year? This year we’re also buying chickens.
Well, we’re buying baby chickens. We’re buying a dozen chicks.
Not for us. (As much as my sons would love them). Baby chicks as a gift for kids and their families a country away.
My kids (like your kids, I imagine) LOVE animals. All the animals. We’d live in a zoo if it were up to them.
When we visited a friend’s newly hatched chicks last year it was love at first sight for my seven year old.
So when I click on the Samaritan’s Purse catalog and show him how we can give 12 baby chicks as a Christmas gift to a family across the world he is SO ALL IN.
I love teaching my farmer-wanna-be that a gift of $14 will provide 12 chicks that will soon lay enough eggs to feed a family, with enough left over to sell or trade at market.
I mean, can you even?
For my little dude who loves soccer and is obsessed with Lionel Messi, he can give the gift of sports equipment to a kiddo just like him across the globe.
And for my daughter, the one who sleeps in a bed surrounded by stuffed animals and dolls she adores and mothers and hugs and kisses a hundred times a day?
When I showed her the soft, cuddly little lamb that plays, Jesus Loves Me, that she could give to 5 kiddos just like her, she squealed. And then she oohed and ahhed and clapped her hands. Like, for real.
I know there are so many things competing for attention this month. So many coulda, woulda, shouldas that it can exhaust us so that all we want to do is hide out in a mug of hot chocolate. And I’m all for that. But right before you sit down tonight, why not pull up these creative, kid-friendly gift options (cows! fishing equipment! bikes!) and have your crew pick out something for a kiddo just like them?
We don’t have to do all the traditions or live up to all the Christmas hype. We only have to focus on the few things that are meaningful to our families. This is becoming one of those for ours.
And if it becomes a new tradition for yours, I’d love to hear all about it!
We were thrilled to partner with Samaritan’s Purse on this post! We’re big fans of the work they do and the impact on our kids at home as well as kids around the globe. Thank you Samaritan’s Purse!