Marla Smart

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Marla Smart: Do you want something different this Christmas? | Moms

As we gear up for Christmas with all the fun and excitement, I wanted to get on my soapbox for a minute.

If you are not in agreement with me, plug your ears and check back next week.

In this day and age, we can go out any time we want and pick up whatever we feel we need. If we can’t get it close by, we can shop online for the perfect thing.

And we don’t wait around for those goodies, do we? Nope. We get what we want, when we want it.

Many, many years ago, there was no Walmart, no Costco, no Amazon (with Prime shipping in two days). Things were not nearly as accessible as they are now.

Money did not flow as freely. Children would wait a whole year to receive a handmade doll and an orange for Christmas and they were happy about it – even excited when their stocking included a peppermint candy to boot.

I can’t imagine trying that with my kids. Obviously, way back when, those children were happy with their gifts because it was more than they got the rest of the year.

I suppose with our Christmas gift giving now, we are only trying to outdo what they done for themselves already.

But my question is: How much more stuff do we need?

I know of families where gifts are given and the kids rip through wrapping paper at light speed trying to find all their stuff, but there is no true appreciation for any of it.

It’s just more stuff to add to their collection of stuff on shelves and in closets all across the country.

As a mom, when it’s put in those terms, I shudder. I barely have room for what we have now.

What service are we doing our families if they go get everything they want all year long and at Christmas, we go and try to surpass how generous they have already been to themselves? Ouch.

I am not trying to offend anyone’s gift-giving sensibilities. Of course, you should do what you know is right for your family. I’m not the mom of your house.

I read a very good blog the other day which talked about giving your children the gifts of experiences instead of presents. They don’t need more toys. Those things will be forgotten.

But, they will remember a special trip to the zoo or just quality time spent with them.

My heart is burdened, though. I want to change the way my family thinks about this whole season. I truly don’t mind giving my children gifts, I even have a list of goodies I want for myself.

I just want more emphasis placed on the giving to others. I want my kids to look for ways to make this season special for others, not making it about themselves.

What if this year, your family decided to give more than receive?

God’s Word promises: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38, NIV)

What an amazing thing for your family to experience. The blessing you get from blessing someone else coupled with seeing the Lord give back to you above and beyond your expectations.

As I prepare to finish my Christmas list, I know my heart is changed. I want something different this season. I am expecting some great things to come. Stay tuned.

But my question is...How much more stuff do we need?

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The News-Review Updated Nov 30, 2013 08:05PM Published Dec 7, 2013 08:40AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.