Today Grayson, Lilah and I visited a local firestation and dropped off some cookies (and returned a t-shirt one of them had left at our house during a photoshoot--it was his 3yo son's shirt). Especially after hearing many 6- and under-year-olds request iPads from Santa for Christmas when I was doing the photos for Edgewood Primary School's Santa Breakfast, I decided right then and there that my children will not be getting iPads, or anything of the sort before they are in highschool and have the need for it (if ever!). The thing that bothered me the most was that many of these children looked like they were in need of more basic items like clothing.
When I was a child, we had to save up or use layaway just to get a doll for Christmas. Yes, we were poor, but we were blessed and I never really felt poor. I would never have even dreamed of asking for something of the caliber of an iPad, even before I knew "the truth". Our family's financial situation is "better than I deserve" in the words of Dave Ramsey, but I don't want our children to ever feel like they are entitled to something like an iPad. To further that idea, I've decided that our family will continue in a spirit of giving each year and we will be taking cookies to firemen, packing shoe boxes for children and doing other activities to inspire giving in our children, rather than entitlement.
I was reminded recently of how many people have certain expectations of how Christmas should go. They have a plan in their head of a big, beautiful tree with lots of presents underneath. Christmas morning to them is a time to make their children happy by giving them everything they want. They (we) neglect to remember what we're celebrating in the first place--Jesus' birth. OUR SAVIOR. It's his birthday!!! THAT'S the reason for the season. So when we celebrate Christmas, we will still give our children gifts, but we will also give... because He calls us to. That's His birthday gift.