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Friday, December 20, 2013

Let earth receive her King.

During November, I eagerly began buying my children's Christmas gifts.  Like previous years, I'm purchasing the majority of my gifts online.  I'm using Etsy, Amazon, and, this year, one gift for each of my children from Worship Woodworks.  I'm experiencing a little guilt thinking of all those Amazon workers who can't bring their cell phones into work, don't get appropriate breaks, and will get the boot come January 5th. 

I'm following my pattern of three wrapped gifts per kid and a stocking with three smaller items.  I really love planning and buying Christmas presents for my kids.  I look forward to seeing their excitement.  Then around Thanksgiving, I started seeing blog posts like these that sort of killed my buzz; "Why I Took My Kids' Toys Away"  and "The Gift of Not Giving a Thing".

A lot of people are thinking again about what it means to live more simply.  This has extended to mothers in my community and seems to be a theme of many conversations I have had this year.

I desire simplicity.  These ideas resound in my heart and head.  I want my kids to value relationships and experiences over stuff.  I want them to be free to think, explore, and create.

Goodness, their rooms would stay cleaner if they didn't have anything!  Our house can look more like a pottery barn catalogue with less effort on my part.

Whenever I go down this road, I start to look at every item I encounter with suspicion.  I find an innocent toy on the floor.
Grrrr...All I do is pick up after little people.
How often do they really play with you, anyway?
Less than five times a month?
We would all be better off without you considering you are plastic, made in China, and are sucking the creativity out of my kids and killing their attention spans.
I potentially place the toy in our seemingly never ending pile of stuff to take to Goodwill.
How much did I spend on you?
What could that money have gone to?
I could have put this money into our kids' college fund.
Or I could have bought it and given it to a child in need of more plastic toys from China that can suck out their creativity and kill their attention spans.
One way or another, I'm not being a very good steward of our money.

At the end of each suspicious encounter with the toy or piece of clothing or whatever item it is, I find myself discontent.  Discontent in our abundance.  How ridiculous.

Not many weeks after reading those blog posts on simplicity, I see another blog (which is to say I don't tend to read more than the first paragraph of these things) (so if you get to this point in this blog post you've exceeded my expectations) has countered their point with a post entitled "Why I'm Buying A Lot of Presents for My Kids".

So, now, whichever way I decide to go, I have other mothers on my side.  Win-win.  

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