A Christmas Challenge

“Your kids will learn a very important message that family is the most important thing in life.” This is what people say to a parent who is struggling to make ends meet and to come up with money to celebrate holidays and birthdays. Yet, the ones saying it are always the ones not struggling.
They are the ones who have already bought half of their kid’s gifts weeks before Christmas. They are the ones who have huge birthday parties for their kid’s birthday. They are the ones who give their kids everything they ask for and more.

I know this because I use to be one, the one who made sure my kids had 4 times the things I ever had. It was not about being materialistic; it was about them getting everything they deserve because that is what a parent does. You work hard to make sure your kids have everything they could possibly want, to let them know that they are first. To let them know they are loved and mean the world to you.

Yes, you risk your child becoming “spoiled” and them learning that they are more important than anyone. Truth is they ARE more important, they should absolutely be more important than you are. You brought them into this life, it is your job to raise them and give them everything you possibly can.

So what about the parents who can’t give their child everything? Should they feel like failures because they have to pay bills and can’t afford anything else? Why is it that some children end up having too much and some end up having nothing at all? People take so much for granted it is absolutely sickening.

Now I am here, 10 days to Christmas and once again as in the last 3 straight years or so, I am freaking out. My kids are great kids; I have no doubts about the way that I have raised them. Yet, I freak out because while the rest of the world takes for granted all they can do this time of year, I am looking for a way that I can get all my bills paid and put gifts under the tree. I look back over their lives and realize this has been an issue more than it ever should have been.

I have faith that just like in years before, something miraculous will come at the last minute. The problem doesn’t lie with me stressing the holiday. The problem lies with all the people I see who don’t see anything outside their own family unit. I see ads and people everywhere asking for donations to help families who are in need this time of year. What about the rest of the year? Why does charity only get publicity once a year? And what about all those families who get overlooked?

I ask you to go find all the gifts your child got last year and tell me how many of them get played with still? How many toys did you throw away? Did you donate some? Does your child really need the newest gaming system? People get so wrapped up trying to make their kids happy that they don’t even realize that they know someone who doesn’t even have a Christmas tree, let alone presents to put under one.

So, here is my challenge to you, go out and find that friend or neighbor who has no tree and purchase one for them. If you can spare more, get some gifts for their kids or some food for their family. We all keep hearing people say Christmas is about giving, well prove that to me and go give something to someone who will truly appreciate it.

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Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare. -Voltaire

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