Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Giving gifts just because...

We are those parents who don't throw birthday parties and don't give our own kids Christmas gifts...(gasp, scream, shock, horror). I know, you probably think we are awful. I actually thought my husband was awful when he said this was the way he wanted to do it. But, I love it now!

Don't be fooled, our kids get lots of gifts on their birthday, holidays and we celebrate their birthday with lots of fun! But, we also want them to be given gifts on days just because...

...it is Tuesday
...we love them
...we knew they would like it
...they lost a first tooth
...they were brave
...we wanted to

 We want giving gifts to come from a heart of love and giving to others. I know this is the heart our family gives to them out of and it isn't forced. We are using gifts as a very obvious lesson to them that they don't deserve or get things just because it is a birthday or Christmas.

Jesus didn't come because we earned His love, He didn't come because we were good enough. He came because He loved us. So our children get gifts (from family) on Christmas to celebrate and reflect on Jesus' love and God giving us the ultimate gift of Jesus. But, they also get tape on a random Wednesday because they love taping things and I always tell them "no" to using my tape.


I don't want my kids to have expectations for what they are getting and define a gift by size or cost. I equally want them to give out of a desire to love people well and give generously at random times not designated by tradition or calendars.


So I will continue to run upstream, go against the flow and take my kids Christmas shopping for friends and family. We will take birthday gifts to birthday parties. Our kids ask why we don't give them gifts on these holidays and we explain to them that our love for them can come in a variety of ways. We can celebrate and rejoice in them and the day with gifts, cake, ice cream outings, dance parties, extra shows, a family hike...see? The list is infinite of ways to show our children they are loved and teach them how to show love! This (new to me) method has helped me be creative and more engaged in the days with them. It is been fun to see the joy and surprise on their face when they ask for a new game at the grocery store and I say "yes" or we scoop them up for naps and take them to the ice cream store! Giving gifts should be something that happens regularly and isn't reserved or measured. So gasp or disagree or send gifts on Christmas but remember those other days are worth celebrating and giving on too!

3 comments:

  1. This is a great reminder and convicting to me!! Do your kids ever talk about "asking" for things for their birthdays, etc? Like from other family? How do you address the heart behind that? It always gives me a bad taste in my mouth, but I also want them to ask me for thingns because I love them...idk!! I'd love to hear your thoughts Curry!

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    1. We don't let them write lists and they don't often try too but they do ask for things all the time for their birthday. We respond with "you can always ask us for anything but we don't tell people what to get us" We remind them again that people buy them gifts because they love them and that we are to be thankful. John tells us constantly things he wants and I agree with you that we don't want to discourage that. I try to spin the conversation to them telling me about the object because typically when they are asking for it they are showing excitement more than greed.

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  2. We're not doing gifts this year either, and I'm so excited about it. (Is that weird?!) We're spending a weekend together in a cabin in the Smokies and enjoying time together. That will be so much more meaningful anyway. We've never done lists, and thankfully without tv or the ToysRUs catalog, they don't ask for much. However, they have plenty of people who love them and give them things, so sometimes our conversations are about how much they are already blessed with and how we can bless others. We do parties, but that's mostly because I love to plan parties! And even then we ask for no gifts and our friends and family have gotten used to it. I think of Birthday parties of a fabulous play date where cake is involved. Sometimes it's hard going upstream, but it feels worth it.

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