3 Christmas Lessons I’ve Learned as a Mom
This will be our final Christmas where we experience a “baby’s first Christmas.” My heart aches a little as I say that. The first Christmas is always so magical. You take the adorable photos and fill their little stocking. You show them off on your Christmas cards and dress them in their Christmas best. You are the Christmas magic maker, but sometimes that can feel like a lot. As a semi-veteran in my seventh Christmas season, I am still learning how to balance the holidays.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve made a list of some Christmas lessons I’ve learned and I hope they’re a gentle reminder for you, too.
Less is More
I have a budget for gifts this year and I have been able to stick to it. It’s a Christmas miracle! As I started asking my girls what they wanted, they mentioned small items and just one or two pricier toys. After some time, I started to notice that the gifts they were asking for matched their love languages.
My four-year-old (acts of service) wanted makeup so that I could “make her pretty.” I realized that she wanted me to treat her to a few days where I treated her like a little queen through my actions.
My six-year-old (quality time) wanted a Barbie Dreamhouse. She kept mentioning that she wanted me to play with her after school “like we do at Bebe and Tata’s [my parent’s] house.” It’s all about toys that allow her to play alongside others.
Instead of spending money on items that fill their stockings, but not their cups, I’m focusing on what fits their personalities and needs. Less is more when you can nail the perfect gifts for your children.
Presence over Presents
Recently, I packed up my girls for a mommy-daughter evening at a Christmas dance showcase. We grabbed dinner at a restaurant that I knew we would all enjoy. We then spent the next 90 minutes watching the big kids at their studio dance the night away. After the show, my girls didn’t say much as it was past bedtime. But on the way to school the next morning my oldest told me, “I liked yesterday.” Other than the dance show, it was an ordinary Sunday in our home. We went to church, ate a simple lunch, watched some football, and then got dressed for the show. That day was perfect for her and reminded me that these moments are what they’ll remember.
The Christmas gifts are nice and Santa’s visit is fun, but our children need us. They may think they need the newest toys or electronics, but I’m sure your favorite holiday moments stem from activities and conversations with your loved ones.
Allow Them To Be Junior Elves
I do my best to show my children that we give when possible. Whether it’s donating our books to our neighborhood’s little library or picking up a few extra cans of veggies for the pantry boxes at church, I want to be one of their first examples of being a giver.
Every year, I sit our girls down to talk about how we are going to give to others. Some years that looks like dropping a brand new toy into the donation bin. Other years it’s looked like picking out an Angel from the Angel tree at our church. When they’re old enough to volunteer, I plan to take them to one of the many volunteer opportunities in our area. We have been fortunate to not go without or to experience a holiday that isn’t as bright as deserved. I don’t want to shield my girls from the pain in this world, so instead I choose to teach them the importance of giving.
As you make the magic happen this Christmas, my wish for you is that these three Christmas lessons make your days merrier and your nights brighter.