Christmas Teaching Idea: What we HaveDec 2nd, 2010 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: General Homeschool Posts
They have shifted their thinking from what they have to what they want.
No, they are not being extreme-they understand the commitment that we have made as a family to do something this year that has a lasting impact (I will share more about that later). But they are also beginning to focus on what they need to put on their own Christmas list, what they need to buy for their family and friends, and what fun things they want to do throughout the Christmas season.
No, there is nothing inherently wrong about this, but I want to avoid allowing this to become the be-all and end-all of Christmas. Why? Because that focus on what we want rather than what we already have always leads to discontent. It leads to the thinking that “I will be happy when I have . . . “ But we all know that once they have whatever it is that was supposed to make them happy, there will be another “want” around the corner that will need to be filled before they will be “happy.”
So here is my second Christmas teaching tip (we will be trying it too).
As we focus on one individual every day that we want to thank (see my previous post on thankfulness) we will also look for one object or situation in our lives for which we can be thankful. That may mean changing our perspective from wishing our van ran more smoothly to feeling thankful that it is fully paid for; it may mean that rather than wishing my husband would put his laundry in the hamper rather than on the floor, I think about how wonderfully supportive he is. For the kids, that may mean that rather than thinking that Christmas won’t be complete without a new guitar, they can be thankful for the piano we have; or rather than wanting a house full of Christmas candy, they can be thankful for the cookies we will make throughout the season.
Seems trivial when I put it onto paper, but I know that it has worked in my own life so I am putting it into play in the lives of my kids and family.
We are using an Advent calendar to make this happen. Rather than me putting a new surprise in the door for them to find every day, they must put a note in each day expressing something for which they are thankful. Some days I will trade that note in for a treat; on other days, they will trade it in for a challenge. A challenge that focuses their attention on someone other than themselves.
It all began yesterday and of course with only two days under our belts, it has been a shining success! (Hopefully, it will continue to work that way.)
So I challenge you this Christmas to teach your kids to recognize the blessings that they have rather than to focus on what they want.
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