Mamas, let’s talk about OUR gifts.
I’m not talking about our gifts by way of our talents.
I’m not talking about our knack to be able to DIY a palette into a bedroom set or our ability to meal plan like a champ.
I’m not talking about our gifts in the marketplace, or what we offer when it comes to our careers.
I’m talking about physical gifts. The material things we give. In particular, I’m speaking of the gifts that we give to our children.
Rewind to Spring when I was celebrating my baby’s first Easter. Now, as a Christian, Easter to me is of course first and foremost about Jesus and His sacrifice and His resurrection.
In celebration of this occasion, I put together a humble little box for my son. One that simply contained a baby Bible, a storybook for bedtime and a stuffed bunny.
Once I lovingly prepared it and set it aside for Easter morning, I laid down to scroll through social media. Even though I knew the importance of the day, I got caught in the trap of wondering if I had done enough for him as I scrolled past photos of large, overstuffed baskets, wrapped gifts, bags containing theme park tickets, new clothes, and candy mountains.
Even though he’s just a little guy, for a moment, as a parent, I felt less than.
In my heart of hearts, I knew to shake it off and instead of feeling down I went to the source to talk to fellow mamas.
We spoke about all the holidays. And birthdays, particularly early childhood birthdays. It was refreshing to know that most parents do keep it simple, gifting needs over wants or simply choosing to make memories over giving material possessions (a favorite tradition in our house.)
Others were very honest, stating that they purchased the large baskets or the elaborate holiday or birthday gifts BECAUSE of societal pressure to be the best or so that their child won’t be the one left out.
And while it was a conversation that will never have a resolute answer, it was interesting to talk to mamas, heart to heart about this particular part of parenthood. I believe it’s just another area that God gives us space to teach the next generation lessons about where we hold material possessions on the yardstick in which we measure what we value.
Personally, through examination of this topic, I’ve learned that the best gifts that I can give my son when it comes to teaching him about value and about love, are not gifts at all. Up against walls where material possessions take precedence in this season of our lives, I choose to break them down one by one with making lasting memories and teaching lessons in simplicity.
In the midst of this barrage, we can get distracted. When we look “to the right or to the left” at choices made by other parents or our children’s friends, we open ourselves up to the pressures of conformity. However, we know where the truth exists. The trick is keeping our focus on Jesus. For therein lies the best gift there is.