Each year holiday preparation comes earlier and earlier. We become consumed by excess and all things material. Our children get excited by the mere thought of multiple christmas celebrations (more gifts than ever). There is never enough candy at Halloween even though most goes uneaten. The same is true for the endless Easter baskets and birthday gifts.
Most of the time we feel the need to show off and compete with our Facebook friends. Which family has the most obscene picture of the family christmas tree with gifts stacked around the tree and several feet high? Who is taking the family on that expensive vacation during the holiday? Which 7 year old is getting an iPad, iPhone or other expensive gadget that most adults don’t have? What are we teaching our children? That all this crap will make them happy? It won’t. That they have a RIGHT to have these things. They don’t. That they can’t live without these things? They will.
It has been said a thousand times before me and will be said a thousand times after me…this is not the true meaning of Christmas. I am happy to be with someone who agrees with me on this point. This is our third year of “the twelve days of Christmas.” Our christmas tree and decorations do not go up until December 13. Not a day before. And this year we have taken our distain for the commercialization of Christmas another step further. Three gifts and three gifts only. Our children will receive three nominal gifts each along with a modest stocking. PERIOD. We have told the children this and as you can imagine, their response was less than thrilled. And when they asked why they are only getting three gifts, our response….”it was good enough for baby Jesus, it is good enough for you.”
So let us be reminded:
First the Gift of Gold: The heart. Matthew 6:21, “. . .for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The Second Gift of Frankincense, the Fragrance of the Christ: When we remove all forms of evil from our heart, we spread the fragrance of Christ.
The Third Gift of Myrrh, Unchanging Faith: We give to the Lord that which does not perish.
Our renewed outlook of our faith has changed our lives and the way we live each day. We are not perfect and on any given day at any given moment, we fail. But we continue to learn and follow our path. Hoping to be better people and better parents.