Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Tis the Season...

Sometimes, I forget how commercialized and overdone Christmas is in the US. And then I see someone's picture of their kid with all of his/her presents, and I'm just bowled over.

Then again, I remember the year we did that. MS was almost three. It was the year after WM died. I think we were compensating (and by "we," I mean ourselves, my parents and ML's parents). He had a lot of presents. JW, though, had the best time watching him rip all of the paper, so I guess it wasn't a complete loss. :-/

Since then, we've worked on reigning ourselves in. And we've always emphasized the Reason behind it all (e.g. our family Advent service, as well as many books and videos that come out after Thanksgiving).

Consequently, I'll admit, I kind of ho-hummed when I saw Grateful for Grace's post on how we celebrate Christmas. Not that I thought it didn't need to be said, just that I thought I'd kind of gotten the message already (yeah, yeah "pride goeth" and all that; I know). Plus, videos usually don't play well for me on blogs. They're choppy and don't stream well (the joys of "high speed" internet access outside the Western world). So, I skipped watching it.

Then, Mary Grace posted the same thing. Please believe me, GfG, it had nothing to do with the fact that MG was posting it. Just that it was the second time I'd seen it. If you'd have posted it second...

Anyway, I watched it. Wow. Not only was the video well done, but it had a point I hadn't pondered. Maybe we shouldn't just cut back in the name of the Reason. Maybe we should do something in the spirit of the Reason. Hmmm.

I don't know exactly what this looks like at this point for us. I'm thinking we'll probably do something local, since there is a lot of hidden need around us (it is to a family's shame to be out in the open with need, but it is there, if you look). Maybe finding a family to buy a heater or coats for. Or an anonymous scholarship to a secretarial training program for the woman I visited with this morning who's husband left her with three daughters and no education and no income. I'll talk it over with ML, and maybe we'll discuss and come up with something as a family.

Whatever it is, though, I'm grateful I caved and watched the video. Oh yeah. The video. Here it is (hopefully; this is my first experience with imbedding video):

And the original site for the video. And a sister/spin-off site with a similar message.

I'd love to hear what other families do, if anyone has anything to share.


Grateful for Grace said...

I totally understand.

The video is so well done that it got me too. The message is clear.

Here's what we've decided to do (full details after we make our family decision):
Instead of 3 gifts each this year-
1 gift (plus whatever is in their stockings)
1 joint gift (it will be a tent... shhhh!)
and then all the funds that we would normally spend on the 3rd gift will be put together and we will 'give' with it. We are all thinking and will decide after Thanksgiving what we want to do (top runners: Compassion International [not sure we can do this long term, so we're praying] and Blood Water). The kids are totally unboard.

I think your post has prompted a follow up post for my blog.

mideastmom said...

Looks good. Maybe your kids would feel better about it, if they knew they weren't the only ones "suffering." You could point them to all the responses on your blog. And MG's. :-)

Looking forward to the follow-up post.