Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MamaBlogger365 - Pay Attention This Holiday Season by Jennifer Covello

The holidays are upon us once again. Soon everyone will be hustling and bustling through the stores shopping for gifts for the special people in their lives. Children will be writing out their Christmas lists in the hopes that Santa will shower them with all they have asked for. Parents will be trying to fit holiday preparations into their already jam-packed schedules.

My mailbox is already filling with catalogs and flyers encouraging me to shop now for the best bargains. I can’t help but think that this week’s “door busters” will be ousted by next week’s “lowest prices ever” forever tormenting me that no matter what great deal I think I got, that perhaps there was a better one.

Both of my children have made it easy for me this year. Their lists are completed and contain only a few items. The days of baby dolls and action figures are long gone and their lists are now filled with pricey electronic games, brand-name clothes, or the latest basketball shoe. And while I am grateful for the simplicity of it all, I can’t help but miss the days of shopping for the oodles of Little Tikes furniture and Transformers.

Like many working mothers, I spoiled my kids terribly at Christmas, buying nearly everything on their lists and more. In hindsight, this was clearly a mistake as I was in essence emphasizing the “gift” part of Christmas, as opposed to the “grateful” part.

How do we teach our children to be grateful? How do we show them how to pay attention to the little things that life has to offer? A warm hug. An ice-cream cone on a hot summer day. The abundance of food on the dinner tables. Is it through the over-used “there are children in this world who have nothing” phrase? Or perhaps the more famous phrase, “when I was your age.” Or is it by our example?

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