(eating ice cream at the mall today with friends)
I thought it would be a good idea to take Jude and Ezra to get their cousin a Christmas present the other night. As we went from store to store, Jude would say "I think Shawn wants this," but I really think he was the one who wanted it. Although I did at least get an idea of what we could get him from the grandparents, it certainly did not end pleasantly, with me carrying Jude out of the store - football style - while he threw a screaming, thrashing fit. Good times with a 3 year old, right?
For the past 3 Christmases, since having kids, we have been able to use that line "they're not old enough to really care what they get" and its been true. I have to admit, I've loved that rule. They'd be happy with just about anything we got them. But this year, consumerism has reared its ugly head. For a kid who doesn't get a lot of "stuff," and who has probably only seen 2 commercials in his life, he is going full speed on the "I want" train. He wants just about everything, and all he can talk about is presents. When are we getting presents, where's all the presents, when is it time for presents, is what I hear 50 times a day.
I have prayed, asked friends and racked my brain as to how I gear him more to giving, rather than receiving and to help him see what the real present/focus is during the Christmas season, but that's a hard concept to convey to a 3-almost-4 year old. My wise mama-friend of 5 kiddos told me some much-needed-to-hear things. She of course told me to model what giving looks like, and show how joyful it is to give. But she also told me just to continue to remind him what the season is all about. To have lots of talks with him. To emphasize Jesus and how giving is more important than receiving. To be gentle, and keep reminding him who the real Present is. My tendency is to get frustrated, having to say the same things over and over and over again. But, its important. Little ones forget things so quickly, they need to be reminded again and again. In fact, I think that a lot of times, I tend to forget quickly and need to be reminded again and again too.
Here is Jude, hard at work coloring the frog green. :)