On Christmas eve we went to church and you know I think that was the highlight of everything, I didn't want to leave. But we were expected at my mother's and so we made the 30 minute drive. My children had made lists of things they would like and my husband and I had also made lists as additional ideas for the boys that were things that would instill value, learning, and wonderful memories in our boys. Everything on the lists were represented, it was ridiculous. No selective picking of a few special gifts. There was even one item we specifically forbade but it was given anyway with the assurance that it would stay at grandma's house. My mother has the bad habit of letting the children do want ever they want without limits so we try to limit their time at grandmas. So it is a privilege and not something they expect. Now don't get me wrong I love my family dearly but I can not stand the spoiling of a child and they spoil mine overmuch since there are no other children yet.
On Christmas morning we were pleased to be able to spend it privately with our children. We only got our boys a few things but we really put a lot of thought into each gift. After all was open and breakfast served my lovely oldest son of 13, who mainly claims to want every video game system there is and could play for days on end and is usually very commercialized, put it the best. And I love him so for it. He said when asked if what they received from us was ok... "Yea, I like this much more. It was perfect, not like at grandmas where it was just too much. She just gets us too much stuff." How beautifully he put it. Too much stuff, nothing very memorable or meaningful, just stuff. But the few that we gave will be treasured and remembered for years to come.
We were not done yet, still later Christmas Day we attended another Christmas with my family including cousins, aunts, not yet fiance's and their family. Again too much stuff, craziness and not enough just enjoying the people you love. We left soon after the gifts were opened and it seems we started the trend because about 10 more left after us. I just wish my family would get the fact that Christmas is not about being selfish and outgiving everyone else, but about the one who gave the best gift ever.
Jesus, thank you for the only gift that matters.