As parents we want everything that's good for our children. It's a natural instinct to care for and protect them. We keep them clean and fed, teach them ethical and moral values, and our hearts break when a bully hurts them. Our hearts swell and grow when a little one hugs us and says he loves us. These are the things we do to help our kiddos on the path to health and success. But many parents give extravagant gifts to show their love too. Is this the appropriate thing to do?
Let me answer in this way. It's good to remember that as time goes on and children get older the gifts have no where to go except to get larger and more expensive. A 2 year old who receives a battery operated ride in car for a gift will not be excited about the same gift when he is 4. He is expecting something more - and more expensive. He certainly doesn't understand cost, but understands the size and function of a gift. I can imagine this is the child who expects a car at 16 and his entire college education paid for by his parents at 18.
A child who receives humble gifts associates gifts with joy. Blocks, coloring books, puzzles, vehicles, dolls, and such are not only educational, but provide many hours of constructive play. The child only associates these types of toys with contentment.
Are they frugal? You bet. Are they constructive? Oh yes. Do they make play time fun? I have seen this with our 4 children and now our grandchildren.
Our gifts are still humble. We are excited to be with one another and even get sad when we can't be with each other on Christmas. The gifts are secondary, the food and each other come in at a close first. But the best gift I feel we have ever received is the birth of our God, who loves us and cares for us 365 days of the year.
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