Thursday, November 29, 2007


After my thorough gift-bash that was yesterday's post, I feel like I need to come clean about something.

My kids are getting a Wii for Christmas.

See, I got this idea to do almost-nothing for the holidays not only because of my high-mindedness, but also for practical, pragmatic reasons. The kids, at 8 and 10, are getting a little old for toys. I haven't seen Alex play with a toy in ages. Susie still enjoys her dolls and animals, but even she will tell you she has plenty of them. And going to a school that requires uniforms means they don't really need clothes (I stocked up on uniforms earlier this fall...thank you, Ebay).

But they've been coveting the Wii for at least a year.

It all came together perfectly, to be honest. We're taking a trip to Florida in January, so we knew we weren't going to do a lot for Christmas. Then I saw the announcement on the bulletin board at church that MIFA needed drivers for Meals on Wheels for Christmas Day. And everything started jumbling around in my head.

(Santa spoiler ahead...if you have a believing kid reading over your shoulder, it's time to turn off the monitor. NOW.)

My kids don't believe in Santa. I don't think they ever really did. So I knew I wouldn't be ruining anything for them when I said, "What would you guys think if we didn't do any presents for Christmas and instead I just bought you a Wii?"

The jumping and screaming and giggling and chanting gave me a hint that they wouldn't be devastated.

So that's how I convinced them to be okay with no presents. By promising them the best present they could imagine. Which, yeah, seems a little bit like cheating.

But maybe it's a start. Maybe they can learn to associate Christmas with service to others (because OF COURSE they'll be riding along as we deliver the meals on wheels) instead of a great orgy of gifts. Maybe they can see the wide disparities in our city between the haves and the have-nots, and be moved to do something differently to make a little more justice.

When my kids were born, I did astrological charts for each of them. Not because I'm a big believer in astrology, but because I thought it would be something interesting for their baby books. And something jumped out at me, something that was the same on each of those charts, 22 months apart. These kids, and the millions of children born in their generation, are thought to be the children who will bring in the true "Age of Aquarius" - a time of enlightenment, justice, peace, and fixing what's broken. A generation of children who will solve problems that it took generations to create - they'll clean up the air, the earth, the water. They'll create peace. To a starry-eyed new mother, those words were just what I wanted to read: my kids are going to save the world.

Let's say that again. My kids are going to save the world.

My kids are going to save the world.

And if you're a mom with kids who aren't grown yet, yours are too.

Your kids are going to save the world.

But they can't do it if we don't teach them how. And today seems like a good day to start.

But I'm still going to let them play video games. They're just kids, after all.


jacqueline said...

I still believe I can change the world so I know my Sparkly Girl will for sure!

Noodle said...

Did you see me nodding the whole time I was reading? :)

We try to make Christmas as little about the gifts as possible. My children get three gifts from us. That's it, and they know it. We open them on Christmas Eve morning, really to get it out of the way more than anything.

Our biggest emphasis is on our Christmas Eve fiesta -- loads of friends, hanging out, having a good time. I want that to be the holiday, not the gimmes.

*I* am the one who wants a Wii though!

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