Take decorating the Christmas tree. I love getting out our tree each year and putting up the ornaments, but about halfway through I get bored and just randomly placing ornaments on the tree just to get it done. Last year I didn't set up our tree since the husband wasn't home and this year we are up at my parent's. I came home last night to a fully decorated tree which my Mom had decorated. I felt bad for missing out on the decoraing but not too bad. Until this morning when Gianna woke up and couldn't keep her hands off the tree. She took off every ornament within her reach and brought them all to me, asking what each one was, looking at them for a long time before going back and putting them on her tree. The minute she placed one on a branch she would step back, admire her work then clap her hands and look at me exclaiming "I did it". We spent hours this morning taking off and putting back on a handful of ornaments and watching her eyes light up as she discovered all the ornaments, and the listening to the squeal of delight as she placed them on the tree was truly magical in itself. I would have spent all day doing just that. Decorating the tree to me became exciting, magical and meaningul all over again.
Sadly though, as with everything else I have seen such horribly holiday shaming going on via social media. Everyone has an opinion on something and their opinion is always the right one. I have seen the following tirades being tossed about on various sites. My favorites are
The Elf is creepy
Why do you need an elf to teach your children how to behave
People who believe in Santa are lying to their children
Holdiay movies take away from the true meaning of Christmas
and so on and so forth
This sort of stuff gets so old after awhile. It seems that no matter what you do or don't do people are going to get mad at you for it and it's sad. I also don't like how because I partake in Santa and the elf on the shelf I am labeled as unChristian. Why during the holiday's do we do this to each other. Especially as Christians why do we judge and assume our way is the right way. I have seen friendships end over this sort of stuff. I myself left what I thought was a harmless comment about my elf on the shelf on a friend's facebook along with several other people and witnsessed a comment war break out. And some of them were beyond nasty. Some days I think social media ends more friendships than starts them!
My personal thoughts about Christmas are as follows. Christmas means something different to eeryone and it is what you make of it. This year I did struggle with how to make Christmas Christ centered yet still take part in all the other fun traditions of the holiday's. And I came up with this, my kids are still to little to understand much of anything and at the end of the day it is my job to teach them the true meaning of Christmas. If I am doing my job right Satna and the elf of the shelf won't take away the meaning of the season at all. It will just add to the memories of traditions we created.
Santa to me is a jolly old mean who teaches that it is always beter to give than to receive. Obviously to our chidlren he brings presents but as they get older they will learn that it is sweeter to gift to others than to want eerything for yourself. And if my children ask if Santa is real I am not sure what my response will be yet. Right now Gianna thinks he is a friendly man with a bread that laughs Ho Ho Ho. If I do decide to play along with the Santa bit I do not think that I am lying to my children. And if anything it is a harmless lie I believe to keep children young and innocent as long as possible. A necesity in today's world where kids grow up way to fast.
The Elf on the Shelf-Before kids I totally agreed that that Elf was creepy as heck. But last year I asked my mom to get the kids one for Christmas. And now Bubble is a part of our Christmas family.I am not using him as method of behavior change already. Neither kid gets that concept and again it is my job as the part to teach my kids right from wrong and to discipline accordingly. I don' t need an elf for that. But some kids do need a reminder or a visual and what is wrong with that. It's no different froma sticker chart or any other behavior program that is out there for kids. So use the elf for what you want. It is your decision. Oue elf brings the kids fun crafts or just moves from place to place. The other day he brought them a nativity set. Who says the elf can't teach people about Jesus\ Holiday Movies- I've seen people comment about how most of the holiday movies on tv have nothing to do with Jesus While I agree, I also feel that they do encompass Jesus and everything he taught. Don't most all deal with hope, forgiveness, family, love, miracles and selflessness. Isn't that what the season is about. Loving one another and passing that love forward. Isn't that what Christ did for us and ultimately teaches So when it comes to this holiday season, Take your kids to see Santa, or dont. Buy the creepy little elf, or don't. Watch every movie on the hallmark channel, or just watch the Nativity story. But do do what you feel is important to you. Not what someone says is the correct way to spend your holiday season. But don't judge or holiday shame someone for the things they do. Because that is not what the holiday season is about! Now excuse me as I step off my soap box. I need to go move Bubble(our elf) to a different hiding spot