This family loves this time of year. I could take it or leave it, but the rest of my household loves Christmastime. We have our traditions, our fun holiday activities, and vacation time. One of the many perks of being married to a schoolteacher (it’s not all awesome, he works loooong hours sometimes) is getting lots of holiday vacation time. We visit family and enjoy being together.
But there are some things that I just despise about November and December. And they come in the mail. I’m talking about toy catalogs. Those thick, colorful booklets filled with plastic stuff. Somehow my kids always get to them before I do and I keep hearing, “I want… I want…” In the words of Charlie Brown, “I just can’t stand it.”
Everywhere you look this time of year you see consumerism. My facebook page is filled with Black Friday this and that. It’s hard not to get caught up in it and feel like I need to buy buy buy. And can I just say how disgusted I am that the very day after, or even the night of, Thanksgiving (the day devoted to being thankful for what we have, remember?) we trample people and get in fights all over buying more stuff?
This year we are fighting back by focusing on being thankful. I don’t like what I see in myself and in my children: ungratefulness. It’s ugly. It’s selfish. And it’s ungodly. I will talk about our Christmas plan when it’s closer, but one thing we are doing is writing down what we’re thankful for.
We’re trying to remember to do this every day, or at least several times a week. You can see when we started that certain little boys were a little focused on machinery, but that’s okay. The point is to have a reminder that we have so many wonderful things in our life to thank God for. We keep the list on the wall in the kitchen, where we can see it every day and read it as it grows.
Let’s start a new thing, where we’re not focused on what we want, but on what we already have. And when we’re thankful for the wonderful things God has given us, then we are free to give them away. We talk as a family about how we are not attached to anything material enough that we would not ever be able give it away. We collect relationships, not things.
I’m curious, do you have a thankfulness plan in your family? How does it work?