The children met Santa Claus up close and personal this past Saturday. We went to Beau's youngest brother's home for a get-together, and Santa was there. Jackson and Rebecca were apprehensive but ended up allowing me to take their picture, as long as Daddy was very close by.And here is some rarely-seen footage of all three brothers together for a picture. They spend time together- Beau and Gabe work together every day!- but there is hardly an opportunity for a photo.
Truly, nothing makes one feel so convicted about one's inherent materialism that listening to one's children relay an endless list of desired Christmas presents. My very small ones know
1) We get most of our Things from stores
2) There are endless Things available at stores
3) Mommy appears to buy whatever Thing she wants from stores
4) Therefore, Mommy should be able to buy whatever Thing children want from stores
The truth is, Mommy goes into specific stores with a list in hand, usually carefully prepared beforehand. Mommy valiantly attempts to stick to her list and budget, but no, not every time. Little slips are noticed by children, I am reminded of. If I deviate from my plan, or even if I buy an extra Matchbox car or flashlight at the Dollar Store when the children beg, I am reinforcing their idea that Things are very important, and should be able to be had whenever the desire arises.
We make Things. We cook and bake and sew and draw and grow. But we are also assaulted continually by ads and commercials and bright colored posters in the stores. So I have been diligently working this Christmas season to reverse the thinking pattern that I have allowed to permeate their little minds. We have an Advent lesson each day (we have abandoned the Advent book and just talk about the biblical Christmas story). We discuss why we go to the grocery store and to Target. We talk beforehand about why we don't need Things not on our list. I am sure this will be a childhood-long training opportunity, but I won't give up. And I will be prepared to learn a few lessons along the way myself.