As each year passes, I find myself being more diligent with my giving. My kids are older and their wishes from “Santa” and mom and dad are devastatingly more expensive.
Back when they were little ones, it was easy to drench them with toys by making a killing at the second hand stores. But now, they are too old for that nonsense. They want the big stuff. They are also well aware that the big stuff is simply that:
They have learned the art of discernment, when it comes to spending. I’m a stickler for it. They have taken in every shopping trip and coupon used, every choice I have made that speaks “mindful money management”. And they are learning how to make good choices. I am proud of this lesson they learn as they grow.
When my kids have a few bucks to spend, they walk into a store and with the spirit of a child, they grab and squeal and embrace the impulse of desire. BUT. Then they carefully think through the cost.
What is the cost of this thing I want? Is it really worth it? Will it be valuable to me for a long time, or just for a moment? Am I willing to let go of my money for this?
They often put it back. Over and over again. I watch them go through the process of discernment. I have helped them along the way, walking them through this process with suggestions and gentle nudges. It pleases me more than anything, to see the values of money resonate in their little lives this early. I pray it continues.
With Christmas around the corner, there comes an entirely new level of mindful money management! There is a sense of entitlement that all children have during this festive time. We all have good ol’ Saint Nick to thank for that. Much like the Tooth Fairy, there is a prolific comparison out there amongst the young spirits, when it comes to what magical goods they receive. THIS is where I will make my declaration to my children:
“Santa is mindful too.”
Santa can choose wisely, his lot to give. He can discern what each child should have according to their life, and their way of living it. Santa is careful in making sure he respects the standards of each home and the purpose of his gifts…
To bring joy. Not plenty.
Santa knows the heart of each child. Therefore, he will honor it by bringing gifts that are in line with the child’s long taught, hard earned values. Santa will carefully select the gifts that will please both the child and the parents, and establish unity within the family morals. My kids want all kinds of stuff, but they also know better.
In our home, Santa will have character. And he will be lifted up high not because of his goods, but because of his giving. Not because of all that he provides, but more in how he shares his provisions.
Santa my friends, can be used for good. Not for goods.
May Santa respect and reflect your family’s values and virtues this Holiday Season~
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Mindful Christmas!
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Before having children, Chris Carter worked as a music therapist for several years in Chicago’s inpatient psychiatric hospitals. She also managed creative arts and recreation programming for four group homes. In that time of her life, she learned and grew to know the pain and suffering of so many people. She is now a stay-at-home mom and currently spends her days running kids to and from school four times a day, volunteering and keeping the house in some sort of order! She has a thriving blog, The Mom Cafe, where she regularly shares her mothering experience and wisdom.