It's been quite the Christmas at our house.  We celebrated in early December with my parents and the kids were spoiled with tons of presents.  Then we celebrated at home on Christmas eve and the kids were spoiled with even more presents.  Then (after a brief jaunt to church where they were thoroughly bored), we headed out to the other Grandma's house and they got so many presents we don't know where to put them all.  By the end of the unwrapping sessions, our two year old didn't even want to finish unwrapping his gifts, the four year old wanted another present even after he'd finished unwrapping all 12 of his, and the baby decided she'd rather just chew on the boxes.  Wow.

I'm hoping that despite the fact that we went totally overboard this year, the kids will be able to take away from the holiday something other than lots of presents.  I'm hoping that they learned something about Baby Jesus at church.  I'm hoping that they remember that His birth is what it's all about (after all, we did have a "birthday party for Jesus" on Christmas eve - even if it did involve more junk-food eating than Bible reading).  I'm hoping that they treasure the time they had with their grandparents and aunt and uncle more than the gifts they won't even remember in a few years.  And I'm hoping that they will remember to think of those who don't have enough, as they themselves are blessed with too  much. 

I plan on making the kids sift through their toys to pick out a few to donate to children who don't have as much.  I think it's a concept they understand, even at this young age.  They're still learning all about "share"- so I think sometimes the empathy is difficult for them - but I want them to learn now so that giving will be second nature when they're older. 

Our kids know that Santa isn't real.  They choose to believe that he is, just for fun.  But they know that all the gifts under the tree(s) come from people who love them, and they know that saying "thank you" is a must.   They still get excited to see the man in the red suit when we're out around town, but somewhere in their sugar-crazed state they know that the 'real' meaning of Christmas is so much more than presents and sweets. 

Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping that we can focus on the fresh start of a new year.  I'm planning to sit my kids down and talk with them about goals they want to accomplish this year, hopes that we have for them, and ways that we can make this a better year for others.  I know it's a long-shot that they'll really 'get' it, but some day they will and I want to set the precedent now.  I wake up every single morning feeling so incredibly blessed for all that we've been given and I just hope and pray that I can pass on an attitude of gratitude to my kids. 

So how did your holidays go?  What are some goals that you have for this coming new year? 
Gift overload
Don't worry, this Christmas celebration is protected by Green Lantern and Superman
What Mommy and Daddy spent their entire Christmas assembling (but isn't it gorgeous!?)


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