Saturday, December 19, 2009

How do we fight the "stuff?"

This year, I am really struggling. I have always, well, in my adult life, fought materialism. I do not want to be a person who wants or has a bunch of "stuff." But sometimes, I think I need all this stuff for me to be happy...even though I really know it won't make me happier. Its a battle of the mind, really. However, this year, the materialism is manifesting itself in a whole different light.

With my kid(s).

Last year, we didn't get Jude much of anything. We got him a few gifts and let the grandparents kinda step in and go nuts. He was 10 months old and although we loved it, he really didn't give a rip. But, this year, I have found myself feeling that how much we get him equals how much we love him and I have been wanting to get him e.v.e.r.y.thing. I've even found myself trying to justify it by saying (in my head, of course) he really needs all this stuff. He really needs a wood work bench with a hammer and tons of big cars to push around and oh, lots of picture books, a gazillion dvds, and every kind of ball out there with goals to match and blah....blah.........blah.

Anyone else have trouble with this, or is it just me?

I am reading a great parenting book (see sidebar) and I just read this last night, that one good way to cultivate generosity and kindness in your kids....give. them. less.

Whoa. Exactly what I needed to hear in this season of fighting "stuff." I so want my kids to be kind and generous and not greedy. Does Jude really even need all of that stuff? No way. He would probably be a lot better without it. So, I talked to Ross, confessed how I've been thinking, and am changing my thoughts and attitude. It's hard. Because "stuff" can be fun. But, being content with what you have (or with what you can get your kids for Christmas) is even better.

p.s.- We did get Jude a few fun things for Christmas and we're really excited about spending our first Christmas together as a family in our own house....and watching Jude light up with excitement at the 1 big thing we know he'll like. :)


Kevin and Lisa Lawrence said...

Amen sister!! A VERY good reminder. But, it is a struggle to fight against the feelings that we should get all the "stuff". I have done a better job against buying just to buy this year. There aren't those big presents that I'm dying to give. I really hope that my kids enjoy Christmas for what it is, Christ's birth and time to spend with family...instead of what did I get? I'll get back to you on that! I do think that we should give less to teach them!! What does giving more teach them? Whenever I want to do more, I get disappointed because they don't appreciate it. I appreciate the reminder!

Merry Christmas!

Jessica Kenney said...

We just read this somewhere and will do it next year since we will have 3 kiddos to buy for. They each get 4 presents, a want, a need, a wear, and a read. Pretty cool idea.

Yankee Doodle said...

I think everyone deals with needing "stuff". We always tell ourselves it's a "need" instead of a "want". I find myself asking the same thing....I need that. It will make my life whole. Then when I get it it's really cool for a few days and then it's put away. May 2010 bring all of us a changed mindset to only need each other and forget all about the "stuff" out there.