Once again, we are in the Season of Giving. The most awaited time of the year is here, and one of the things that we most look forward to are the presents. That feeling of anticipation is more intense among our little ones. The Santa Claus wonder is in their eyes as they hold their horses until Christmas morning when they finally open their gifts.
But who are we kidding? There is no Santa Claus… As much as I want my children not to read this article and get upset, I also want to address the “Santa Clauses” out there – the parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends – who will be busy with the Christmas rush. We can all learn a thing or two from Saint Nick.
Determine if They are Naughty or Nice
Like the Law of the Harvest, let us not forget that children need to learn that they will reap what they sow. Let us connect our gifts to how they have been throughout the year. Like Santa Claus, we must show that good things come to those who are good. If we must give them gifts even if they have been “naughty”, may we have the time to explain to them that they need to do better. Naughty or nice, we love them just the same. We just need to make sure that we love them enough to train them to be good people.
Make a List and Check Twice
I love how Santa is very organized. He makes lists! And not just that… He checks twice! This is a very good thing to emulate. Christmastime is the busiest season of the year with all the parties and activities. It is very easy to get caught up in the hustling of the holidays. Having a list of the things that we need to do and the people that we need to reach out to, can help a lot. Our children may have hinted at the things that they want. Writing them down and checking the list before we go out and buy gifts is a practical way to save time and money. This way our gifts are more meaningful because they will know that we have remembered to get them what they really wanted instead of getting them the generic things that were on sale.
Let Them Wait
I used to imagine Santa sneaking into the house on Christmas Eve to place presents under the tree for me to open on Christmas morning. But I must admit that once, I asked myself, “Why doesn’t he give gifts earlier, like on December 1st?” Patience is indeed a virtue! For when I waited for Christmas morning before opening my presents, the feeling was more gratifying. I think it’s the wait that adds value to the whole experience. Children need to learn delayed gratification so they will know how to “bridle all (their) passions”.
Tap the Power of the Elves
Let’s face it! Sometimes, we just can’t do it by ourselves. Some gifts are just expensive. Sometimes, they can be impossible considering the wild imagination of children. Or there are times, that we do not have enough time and we get frustrated that we did not get the gifts we wanted to give to the kids. While Santa has his little helpers, we too can ask for help from family (this includes our children) and friends. We need not do it all by ourselves. We can ask for ideas on how to get things or how to orchestrate scenes. Help is always available especially in this digital age when communication is much easier.
Don’t Forget to Relish the Milk and Cookies
When the work is done, don’t forget to savor the moment of being thanked and appreciated. Take time to live in the present (not the gift but the time) and just be there with your children. I know we have a lot of things to do afterwards, especially the electricity bill from all the Christmas lights that we put up. But that can wait. Everything else can wait. Spending time with our children on Christmas is something that they will look back to when they grow up. And take extra time to bask in their smiles and hugs and thank-yous and I-love-yous. For in this, the Christmas fuss is all worth it. While Santa enjoys his milk and cookies that kids leave for him on Christmas Eve, let us enjoy the sweet moments with our children on Christmas Day.
We may not give them gifts wrapped in fancy papers and bows but it is my prayer that we give our children memories and lessons that will add value to their mortal journey. Christmas is the best time to help them learn about patience, empathy, gratitude, goodness, love, joy and family. But then again, as the song says, the secret of Christmas is “not the things you do (or give), at Christmas time; but the Christmas things you do (or give) all year through.” May the Spirit of Christ be with us throughout the year and may we find joy in His undying love for all of us.
Merry Christmas everyone!