Where is it written in the parenting handbook that every single childhood activity must involve a lesson? One blogger and mother is hell-bent on sucking the fun out of Christmas this year under the guise of teaching her kids to be grateful.
Excuse me while I stifle a yawn because I’ve heard this argument too many times before. Lisa Henderson of Over the Big Moon blog is hardly original in her attempt to put a stop to Christmas in her household.
In her controversial post Why My Husband and I Canceled Christmas, she says, “We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions. But, we have cancelled presents, Santa, and stockings. Their letters to Santa this year will be asking Santa to find someone who needs their presents more.”
This sounds great at face value, and how can you argue with an explanation like that? Well, I am about to enlighten you. You see, I grew up in a household that was crammed full of “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.” Jesus and I still have a good relationship as adults, but I have told Him many times that I resent how he sucked the fun out of my childhood Christmases. (Thanks a lot, Lord.)
I do think it is important to teach kids to be caring and empathetic. I think it is vitally important to teach children about other kids in need. But I cannot find even one good reason to cancel the childhood fun of Christmas to get this point across.
Henderson says her kids had been acting ungrateful, which is why she and her husband decided to send them this message. I don’t know about you, but in my experience with kids and having been a kid for many years, kids are like that.
They act ungrateful and disrespectful, and then they act sweet and kiss you goodnight within the span of 24 hours. They may act like they don’t care about the lessons you are teaching, and you as a parent have to believe in good faith that you will make an impact years down the road.
But don’t cancel Christmas. This is a popular sentiment among parents who want to flex their tough parenting muscles around the holidays and show what a good job they are doing. Speaking from the experience of a kid who had her Christmas kicked in the teeth for many years, just let kids be kids. Let them dream about Santa and make lists. Let them ask for presents and grant their wishes, within reason, without insulting them by calling them entitled.