For Christmas, I wanted to give the "Community Children" a nice dinner and gifts, something that their entire family could come to. So, I solicited volunteers to purchase gifts and cook food and we had a wonderful time. We had 70 people attend and we were able to give AMAZING gifts to 37 children.
This was the tree with all of the gifts for the kids
Fast forward one week to our Christmas. We are not rich people. We both work for a living and we work hard. We are very proud of our ability to provide for our children and give them what they desire. But this year...after seeing what some kids experience daily...it felt excessive. I really didn't even spend that much. Well, I did, but not as much as I have other years.
The loot from Mom & Dad
My children are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family and the only great grandchildren to one set of my grandparents. Everyone LOVES buying for them, and who can blame them? We have a very generous family. The kids received a trampoline and swingset from Mike's wonderful parents, Nanna and Grandpa Roger, and about two dozen toys just from extended family. YIKES :) All day Christmas, I just had this nagging feeling that they had so much and other kids...kids we know, were having such a lousy day. I guess this past year has really changed me. I don't want to punish my kids for having enough, but I want to give them balance. That's something we are really going to work on this year. And, we are going to keep helping these "Community Kids", showing them the love of Jesus and giving them our unconditional love.
But, somehow, it just doesn't feel like enough. I feel like we are raising our children to be so materialistic. People often joke that they hope the kids have good jobs when they are older or marry well, since they have been so spoiled. I used to laugh and honestly, feel a little proud. It made me happy that my kids always dressed well and have fun toys. Now, I wonder if we have set them up for a life of misery, constantly wanting something else. This year we are really going to work with the kids, with good deeds and giving to the less fortunate. Hopefully, we can counterbalance some of the damage we've done, without punishing them for having a good family.
Well, how's that for a heavy second blog post :)