The Present Game…

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When we think about Christmas, you may cringe just a little.
Christmas isn’t what it used to be, it is so commercial, and Jesus isn’t the reason for the season.
My Children in this story are grown now, but at the time of this story my children had turned into greedy little monsters.
Deep inside me hoped for the best Christmas Holiday season ever, After all my children were still young.
Only as always it didn’t turn out the way that was expected, or actually anything like I expected. Why?
Because instead of actually enjoying the holidays with the family my three children got greedy, and developed a case of the gimmes.
Actually this display was discouraging for me, asking and begging for things to me was uncivilized behavior. 
Under the tree was brightly colored wrapped boxes and gifts, that I had spent my hard earned money on, and they wanted other gifts under the tree.
This gave me a thought; seriously, I was dismayed at my children’s behavior.
At this moment I vowed to take action, the greedy self indulgent behaviors were overwhelming!
This was no longer a celebration of Jesus birth, or the holiday of giving and sharing, or it is better to give than receive.  It had turned into take, greed, and self indulgent children.
After looking at the wonderfully decorated tree, and the lovely wrapped presents underneath, and thinking how hard I worked to put those present there under that beautiful tree, I mulled over it…
My delightful little greedy, gimme children were without gratitude for anyone but themselves. 
Deciding to do something awful, really awful, at first I want to give all the presents away!  Deciding to remove all the gifts before Christmas morning was actually the goal.  This was completed as I lay in my bed waiting for the rush down stairs Christmas Morning.
The Children arose early as expected, to Christmas Morning and no gifts under the tree, nothing at all.
Expecting gifts, it is hard to explain, but I do believe this was the changing moment for my children.
Thanks weren’t immediately fourth coming, but after they gave the present that they had gotten for each other, and I, thank-you filled the room.
But simply saying thank-you wasn’t good enough in my book.  I wanted my children to pay attention to the giver as well as the gift, and pay a sincere compliment about whatever they received.  They looked at me like I was crazy, but it didn’t take long for them to get the message.  Learning a thing or two was the goal.
Christmas went on, dinner was served, and everyone pitched in…
At the prayer for dinner, I explained how grateful I was for my life, my family, and the most important force in my life, God, and how important he really was, how he helped me look on the bright side of life.
The rest of the day, was spent watching the classic The Walton’s, and over Christmas stories.   No Gifts from me were giving that day, Cleary you will think I am crazy but it was a case of tough love, and a challenge I needed to put my children through, and it was needed.
The children changed for the better, and they were pleased to come home to a Christmas in July, that they didn’t expect. 
Better yet, I hadn’t anticipated that they would be as pleased as they were.  This day was for fun, giving, receiving, and gratitude. 
This was a learning lesson that was beyond words.
They expressed gratitude even for the smallest things, also being grateful for everything, from food, and clothing.
As a parent I am glad I did this, it may have been a hard lesson at the time.
My children have grown up in to stable adults, no asking for anything, grateful for whatever are given and happy people, who realized from those many years ago, the reason for the season…


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