Well, we made it. We survived, what I affectionately call, the "four days of Christmas". We are blessed to have many members of our close and extended family nearby, which means that we have a Christmas celebration every day from the 23rd to the 26th of December. I even hosted my first Christmas this year when James' family came in from London. (And yes, my first turkey was a success!)
What was a little wild, however, was the sheer amount of stuff we acquired this year! All given with good intentions, it became a little much for our little guy. We forget that with that many days in a row of relatives, visiting, food, treats and presents, it can become tiring and overwhelming for anyone, and especially for a two-year-old.
As I dropped the bags of opened gifts in our playroom, I wondered if the true meaning of Christmas might be getting lost for Colin. We love and appreciate everyone's gifts - I could see the joy in their eyes as Colin opened something they had lovingly picked out for him. However as I sat there surrounded by so many new toys, I wondered how I could get through the materialism aspect and reach Colin about why giving is so important this time of year.
Then it hit me. It didn't necessarily matter that Colin was receiving so much, as long as it was balanced with him giving as well. So yesterday after his nap, we sat in the playroom and chose some of his toys to give to children who don't have any. It took a few of my own selections before Colin got the hang of it, but then we went through his buckets together as he chose a few of his toys to send along the way. We talked about how lucky he was to have so many clothes, toys, and enough food to eat and a warm house to live in. We talked about how other little children don't have all that we are blessed to have, and how Jesus has asked us to do what we can to help them. So especially at Christmastime, we needed to give what we could.
I'm not sure how much of it all will stick, and I pray that in a few days Colin won't be upset when he can't find some of his older toys, but as a parent, I'm just trying each day to fulfil my responsibility in teaching and raising my precious boys.
There is a beautiful lullaby that I sing, which reminds me that my children are not gifts, but a precious loan from my Father in Heaven. Though the task might seem daunting at times, I'm working hard every day as I help to direct those I have been entrusted with on this journey called life.