15 Nov 2015

Thoughts on Motherhood :: Giving Good Gifts to our Children

As Christmas approaches i find a battle begin to wage war in my soul. The other day as i was walking through the new  Christmas decoration display at the local Home Depot a thought crossed my mind, "I don't want a Christmas I can buy, but one that I can behold". Our culture is so saturated with materialism, which resonates with the longings of our soul... somehow we think buying something new will satisfy us... but the truth is that satisfaction is temporary, until we see something newer or better.

On one hand we love to give our children gifts ~ to see the joy, and excitement in their eyes. On the other hand we want our kids to know that Christmas is about celebrating Christ, the truth about who St. Nicholas was and the untruths about him that we too quickly absorb from our culture. Sometimes in the midst of the obsession with gift giving i find myself wanting to vilify gift giving but even the Bible teaches us that giving our children good gifts is not just a good thing, but it is an object lesson from which we can more deeply understand the Father heart of God!

"Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 
Matthew 7:9-10

I came across this quote the other week and it was a good reminder to love our kids strong, to give them gifts well, but to never substitute simply spending time with them, reading to them, going on adventures with them, listening to them... for anything!

That being said here are a few of the gifts we're delighting in giving our children and our family this year...
  1. stocking stuffers from aliexpress.com - this website ships FREE to POLAND (i pretty much worldwide!) That's a goldmine for us since toys and kids stuff is a lot more expensive here and we don't have the AMAZON jungle to shop in! Shipping can take 2-6 weeks but i like to get shopping done earlier to avoid having to think about it or run around last minute when we want our family to focus on celebrating Jesus. Here are just a few of the things i've picked up.
    1. batman tshirt - our little guy LOVES this shirt, he wears it every day. literally. it fit a little small but is good quality and has survived going through the dryer! $4.40
    2. lego superhero figures - a set of 8 different figures, these are super fun! i don't think they are 'genuine lego' but look exactly the same and my 4 year old won't know the difference! $4.75
    3. vintage robot - i love the look of this classic robot. he's going our oldest son's stocking and then will make great room decor for the boys room! $4.40
    4. paw patrol stuffed toys - just ordered these today. our boys love paw patrol and it's still hard (or expensive) to find paw patrol toys here. i'm usually really hesitant about getting our kids stuffed animals, but i think these will get played with as they like to go on 'rescue missions'! $5.03
    5. super hero cape & mask - i really like these. our kids already have capes that i made them but if they didn't i'd totally be getting them these! seriously you can't buy material and my time for $3.24! 
  2. BLURB ~ this is a gift we give ourselves each year, a family album of our year! Right now they have 50% off until November 17th. I won't get mine done in time since we include photos from December but what a great deal and they make great gifts! This is the company we always use to print our photo books. COUPON CODE: GEM50 {affiliate link}
  3. we're super excited to start our advent activity calendar and to wrap our 24 days of Christmas Books for opening daily in December!
How do you approach gift giving in your home? How do you keep focused on the meaning of Christmas amongst all of the business and marketing surrounding it?