It is the day after Christmas and I see toys and gifts galore in every room of our house. We live in a bubble, my boys live in a bubble. Never have they been placed in a situation where they’ve had to worry about anything. They have everything they want and more than what they need. I remember last year asking Luke what he wanted for Christmas and his response was, “Nothing.” This year his list was small, mostly Minecraft figurines. Oliver’s list was small as well and one of the things on his list was a balloon for his brother. At a young age, they are aware they have plenty.
I never want them to forget all the Lord has given us. I want to instill in them a thankful attitude, not one of entitlement. They both have their moments, like yesterday when they were demanding more presents. I do remember feeling the same as a kid. I never wanted Christmas to end. I still talked to them both (especially my oldest) on their demanding behavior. It isn’t easy for kids to see their blessings, but it is something I really strive to show them.
One gift we got Luke and Oliver was through Lutheran World Relief. We donated a goat in their honor. This is a tradition I intend to do every year…maybe for their birthdays as well. I talk to them a lot about our blessings. I tell them how other people live. I show them pictures of kids and different cultures in other countries. When they are old enough, I will take them on mission trips. There is an eyeglass one that as soon as Luke is old enough…we are going. It will be very powerful to take my son, who has an eye disorder, on such a trip.
Luke, my six year old, already in many ways has a natural gift of generosity. He isn’t attached to material things (except maybe his tablet). One cute story I’ll share is when our church was building a play set, Luke grabbed his piggy bank and started counting all his money. He wanted to give it all to the church because he said all the kids really need a place to play. My little guy, Oliver, is generous in other ways. I suspect he will be one who gives people his time and attention. He is only three, so we will see more as he gets older how his gifts develop.
I pray my boys will always know the importance of giving and sharing our blessings. One of the most important things I can pass on to them is the knowledge that our world is so much larger than the little bubble we live in.