The Greatest Gift of All….Time


“The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured. They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, temperance, kindness, and industry.”
- Billy Graham

It’s the season!  The season of  over indulgence.  Excessive food, excessive drink, excessive fun.  I am guilty.  I partied like a rock star this weekend and I am feeling the effects.  I’m tired, and cranky, a just a bit toxic.  Ugh  - there is truth in the old saying about too much of a good thing. :-)

I also believe the concept applies to Christmas and gifts.  I am personally focused on doing  a “less is more” holiday this year. Since I’m a year round shopper I have a gift closet where I stash my “goodies”.  I took everything out last night and tallied it up.  I thought there would be a lot – but surprisingly, there really wasn’t.  While I love a “steal” and can’t resist a bargain, I actually cannot stand a lot of “stuff.”  It makes me crazy. One – because it’s just straight up waste – does my daughter really need 8 different types of Barbie dolls and 12 accessories for each?  I think not.   Two – because it’s distracting – she has so many choices that she actually plays with none of it – it just becomes overwhelming clutter.

So, my gift tally for baby girl came to 8 items – 3 of them American Girl doll outfits – which I decided was excessive.  I’m going to get rid of two sets and only give her one – that brings it down to 6 gifts.  New sneakers, a fleece top, new pjs, a board game, a Dollie and Me ballerina outfit, an American girl outfit (which I’m coupling with the ballet outfit) and a watch (which she requested).  My little guy has 5 items – a new warm up suit for swim team, a gold panning kit (don’t ask – the kid is obsessed with gold mining.  He built his own sluice in the backyard) a fun Smithsonian kit where he can break rocks and find crystals, new sneaks and a flight lesson.  Yes – my son  who has been obsessed with planes since he was a toddler  will get a chance to fly.  I am beyond the moon excited to give him this opportunity – I know it’s an experience that he’ll remember and treasure for the rest of his life.

We are also doing a family gift and taking a trip to the mountains.  We’ll spend 3 days at the YMCA camp in Estes Park  to celebrate the season. I’m super excited to have this time with my family and be able to get away from it all for a few days.  I’m hoping this starts a new tradition for us – one focused less on material things and more on experiences where we can spend active time together as a family.  This camp is SO COOL too – they have all sorts of fun stuff including a roller rink, an indoor swimming pool, archery, craft room and an endless stream of games and activities.  Our long weekend is already filling up with family fun and I’m so ready!!!

Overall, my goal is to put forward an experience that brings my family together.  I want them to associate holidays not with materialism – but with giving of oneself.  An opportunity to unplug, step away and be together – simply and quietly.  This has been the greatest side effect of my Kind Year journey.  Continually seeking kindness has enabled me to slow down and really appreciate the good in life.  In turn, I can then share those feelings and experiences with my family and bring them together in kindness and love.  They have watched, and participated, in many of the things I’ve done in the name of kindness.  And they amaze me with their ability to spread love, care and generosity to those they meet.  In a season focused on what you need and want, I’m so thankful to be able to say I already have it all.