The Joy


Every time a toy commercial comes on, regardless of what it's for ("girl" toys aside, natch), one of my boys exclaims, "I WANT THAT!"  Then the other yells, "NO!  *I* WANT THAT!"  Then the other yells, "WELL, *I* WANTED IT FIRST!" and then it snowballs into a good old fashioned Walker family wrasslin' match. Commercialism at it's finest; seen in everyone this time of year and perfected by the Eight and Under crowd.

More than anything I want my children to understand the true meaning of Christmas.  I want them to comprehend that we celebrate the birth of a Saviour not the GIVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME culture society promotes.  I'm not always the best example of the values I want them to espouse, especially considering that I finished shopping for them the weekend after Thanksgiving and had to practically hide my debit card to keep from buying more, more, more.  But, still, we talked - and talked a lot - about the real meaning of Christmas.  We stressed that GIVING is so much more important than GETTING.  We spent the past week sprinkling random acts of kindness around our community.  But I wondered if my boys, at ages four and six, were really, truly getting it.

Then.  Saturday afternoon.  Jaidan grabbed copy paper and his colored pencils.  He sat at the kitchen table and worked on drawing picture after picture.  Later, I found him with wrapping paper scraps and a roll of duct tape (we redneck 'em up young 'round these parts, y'all) "wrapping" the little presents he had made.  He careful wrote "to MomMom" (that's supposed to be MawMaw) on one and then added a hand full of change to another and addressed it to "Chien" (Cheyenne, a cousin).  The gifts cost nothing (well, except for the approximately 37 cents in the package for Cheyenne) but they are just so precious sitting under our tree.  They are gifts that came from his heart, gifts he poured himself into.  They prove that he understands the joy you can find in giving.  And, man, that's such a gift for me as his mother. 

Thing is, he doesn't even "get" that this makes me all weepy and emotional (yeah, I KNOW.  This time of year just does that to me) as his mom.  He only knows that he loves his Mawmaw and he thinks Cheyenne is pretty cool and he wanted to give them something.  He knows that receiving gifts feels good and he wanted to make them smile.  It doesn't get much more "Christmas" than that.

Today there will be food (so much food!) and wine (so much wine!) and one present opened before bed and tracking Santa on NORAD and sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn and leaving out cookies and milk Coke Zero for the Big Guy and thinking we've spotted Rudolph's nose.  Tomorrow will be "SANTA'S BEEN HERE!" and wrapping paper strewn all over the living room.  It'll be cinnamon rolls and trying to get the casserole in the oven.  It'll be over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go.  And, when it's all said and done, it's likely that I'll be exhausted (so much exhaustion!) but it'll all be worth it.  To see their smiles.  To witness their joy.  To experience Christmas through their eyes.  And, this year, seeing that my six-year-old truly gasps what a wonderful gift it is to give.  Does it really get any better?

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
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