Tag Archives: Holidays

Pretend, Imagination and Other Lies

praying santaAmong young parents there is a growing number who have adopted the “we aren’t going to lie to our children” approach to parenting. This feeling is hovering around the issue of Santa Claus and his friends, the Easter bunny and Tooth Fairy. This mantra makes me wonder about how far this “honesty” goes. There are times when it is not appropriate to tell children the FULL truth. Many times we skirt the question, knowing they are too young for the answer. Where do babies come from?

What made me really think about lying to our kids was that there is no Santa Claus at Christmas and Easter bunny at Easter. Let me say here that I believe that Christmas and Easter were the most important events in human history. Both turned the hope of the world to the Eternal.

Ok, so the Easter bunny is a little odd, but Santa Claus comes from a real story of a priest who made sure that the hungry were fed. He did so out of selflessness and in anonymity; modeling our Savior’s example. I don’t understand why letting a child believe in this saint visit them for a few years is so wrong. And why not mix a little wonder in a time of miracles? Why not let a child know the fun of Christmas while learning the reverence?

If we aren’t going to lie about Santa, Easter bunnies and tooth fairies, then do we take away playing pretend and imaginary friends? There is no tea in that pot, you know. And the cookies taste like nothing because they aren’t really there. Really, you didn’t steal my nose… no imaginary friends; and oh, and Elf on the shelf isn’t really running around the house wreaking havoc. Where do we draw the line between truth and imagination with our children? Where is the light-heartedness and dreaminess of childhood?

Maybe Santa and the Bunny do add something else to Christmas and Easter that needs to be managed with children. Making sure they don’t outshine the birth of Jesus; and certainly being naughty or nice shouldn’t be the threat of the month. But if handled in the proper perspective, they add a little something to the holidays and a child’s innocent heart.

Reality and truth will come along soon enough and shove playing pretend, imagination and fantasy to the background.

Think about it…

KK

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Rushing Retail

Fair_volleyball_wingsDecember 26th I passed a Valentine display at Wal-Mart.  It gave me a frustrated pause.  We live in this world of being never satisfied, wanting instant gratification, and rushing to the next thing.  Any chance those in retail encourage and promote this mindset?  There are entire Seasonal sections of big box stores.   These sections are the gateway to the buyer not being happy in the moment.  What’s coming up next?

It is our responsibility to control how much we let outside forces like advertising, email and other social media control our time.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about planning when it’s pertinent to my priorities and not because Hallmark thinks I need to purchase cards and candy six weeks early.  What do you do to not let these outside messages take over your time and day-planner?

All the best,

KK

Gifting

So it’s December 29th, time for true confessions.  How many of your gifts did you return or exchange?  Did any gift make it to the re-gift closet?  You know the obscure gift that you can’t return because there is no telling where it came from; probably a re-giftJ.

Let’s just establish that re-gifting is perfectly acceptable.  Why waste a perfectly good item just because it’s not useful to you?  You have to be careful though, to re-gift to the original giver of the gift can be disastrous!  Not to mention embarrassing for both.  Here are a few thoughts on re-gifting.  When you place the item in the re-gift closet put a post-it on it with who gave it to you and when.  Additionally, don’t break the seal or “factory” wrapping.  Before re-gifting, be sure to dust it off well and be sure there aren’t remnants of wrapping paper or a card stuck to it.gifts

I did not receive anything that needed returning or exchanging this year.  What is really great is that those who gave me gifts did so based on what they know and love about me.  This to me is the number one rule in choosing a gift – know your recipient.  There is as much excitement in choosing the perfect gift for someone as there is in receiving the perfect gift.  While I don’t mind when someone gives me ideas, it is also a blast to choose something that I know the recipient will love, but may not have thought to ask for it.

Many of us have everything we need.  When we have the opportunity to choose gifts for those we love, why not take a few minutes to really think about the other person.  What could you give them that they would enjoy and might not otherwise buy for themselves?  The gifts I received this year were all very thoughtful; obviously those giving me gifts thought about me and what I would like.

The art of gift giving is one that I think is fading to that which is easy – the gift card.  The gift card is good because you are thinking about the other person, but we have to be careful to not let this be our default.  Take some time.  Make your gift meaningful.

The art of packaging or wrapping gifts went down a slippery slope with the advent of the gift bag.  For some, the gift bag was their salvation and a relief in the pressure of giving a gift.  My mother makes wrapping a gift and the bow on top an art form.  She pulls the color-coordinated ribbon around the package and then ties a big pretty bow on top.  Then she spends a few more minutes making small adjustments to the bow to be sure it’s perfect.  No doubt a beautiful package shows the recipient that love and care was taken not only in choosing the gift but in preparing it for giving.

In full disclosure, I did purchase a couple of gift cards this year because I didn’t plan well and ran out of time.  This just gives me a head start on these two gifts for next year.

Happy gift-giving,

KK