Gosh, can't this become a sticky subject and somehow come across like I'm better than some people. I mean that may be true but thats not what I'm going for here. That was a joke, about being better than some people, I know its most. Thats besides the point. This is not a blog about why I'm a more loving parent because I do it this way or the fact that you are a more loving parent because you buy gifts during this season.
I hope to do a couple things with this blog. 1) I want to tell you our story of how we got here. 2) I hope it encourages you to be different. 3) That you are reminded that whether with presents or without presents you are still a good parent.
It was just 2 years ago with our floor still littered with wrapping paper and faint sounds of enjoyment and arguing happening in the background as the girls played with all of their new gifts. During that season one night over dinner I proposed to the family a big WHAT IF. Ladies I said, What if next year instead of gifts under the tree we do experiences. With all of their needs and wants fulfilled from just opening their gifts they replied with an excited YES. Yes they said, they started talking of all the places we could go and things we could see and this began our process of changing who we were as a family. I proposed this because I thought these toys and gifts seem to be bring a lot of enjoyment, but at the end of it all did it make us better? Are we closer as a family because I was able to purchase gifts? Can we make a better decision for our family? All year we spent reminding them of their excited commitment that they made. When Christmas rolled around in 2020, they woke up to zero presents under the tree. This was epic because we aren't even that family that over decorates, so there in our living room was a beautiful tree and under it, all you saw was floor. Our kids still had a great morning, lots of things to talk about and do. The next day we packed our car up and headed off to our experience. Did we still spend money on things, YUP. But we chose to spend it differently. Those are memories that my family will forever have, long after the clothes stop fitting or the socks have holes in them and all the toys are broken or lost.
My story matters! My story matters to my family and your story matters to your family. So I wanted to remind you that whether you choose to give many gifts or if you choose to go without you are still a great parent. You are the best parent that your kids have. Be free from commercialism and the self judgement that happens as we browse social media and filtered pictures of what Christmas mornings look like for others. Be free to be yourself and to create a new story for your family, one that will leave a legacy worth following. LOVE is always spelled T-I-M-E.