Christmas, Truth, and Childhood Innocence

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Childhood innocence eventually becomes a thing of the past. If we’re lucky, it becomes fond memories and reason for nostalgic reflection when we’re adults or the need to keep that innocence alive in our children for as long as possible.

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Last week, my almost 10-year-old son asked me two innocence-ending questions. The first was about the existence of the tooth fairy. He doubted it and said he was pretty sure we put money under his pillow and took his tooth after he went to bed. Jonathan and I had already agreed to tell our kids the truth when they ask questions like that, so I told Drew the truth—that he was absolutely right in his assumptions about the tooth fairy. He thanked me for telling him the truth and moved on. I knew that more questions were coming, especially the most dreaded one about Santa.

Five days later, all hell broke loose at my house when I was asked the dreaded question. I countered Drew with a question back, asking if he really wanted to know. He claimed he did, but I was still reluctant.

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Being Thankful in Life

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Something I always stress to my children is to be thankful for what we have.  My family is not without struggles, but we are truly blessed. My husband and I have good jobs and enough money to provide for our family and pets. We have a lovely home where we are sheltered from bad weather, safe, and near beautiful scenery.  We work hard and appreciate what we have.

Now comes the struggle: teaching humility, humbleness, and appreciation in our children, who have never gone without anything they’ve needed. I talk to my children about the charities and nonprofits to which we regularly donate. I explain the reasons why it is better to give than to receive. I just hope that some tiny nuggets of wisdom about those things transfer from me to them as they grow.

When I asked my children to tell me what they were most thankful for at our Thanksgiving table, they each said they were most thankful for their family. That made me smile because it was exactly what I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to hear them say they were most thankful for their video games, tablets, or toys. While they have many things, my children don’t always get what they want. Continue reading

Bah! Humbug: What’s Christmas all about?

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I find myself identifying with Charlie Brown and Ebenezer Scrooge this year. For some reason, I’m just not in the mood for Christmas. Normally, I love this time of year: the traditions, the music, the food, and the family togetherness. I like seeing the lights and decorations, smelling the apple spice and peppermint, and reminding my children that it is better to give than to receive. I enjoy donating to charities that help children have a present because all children deserve that regardless of their circumstances.

My favorite part of A Charlie Brown Christmas is when Linus, asked by Charlie Brown if anyone can tell him what Christmas is all about, stands on the stage and recites Luke, chapter 2, 8-14, as translated by the Authorized King James Version:

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.

It’s a beautiful story—one that some people believe as truth and others think is fiction. I can understand both viewpoints. Continue reading