Holidays, Hobgoblins, and Heaven

My daughter is a brilliant kid. Which automatically makes her suspect when anything unusual happens around the house. That and the fact that she is the only other one in the house during the day and I tend to be too sluggishly pregnant and adult-like to cause trouble – most of the time…

Bella likes to clean up – any mess and this girl is on it like a moth to a flame. Which may surprise some mothers because I have been told that kids don’t do chores unless they are literally forced to under pain of tears, discipline, and loss of privileges. Seriously though, my daughter is made of special stock and it did not come from me. I am an adult and I hate cleaning…I am good at it…when I get around to it that is. Bella has been known to throw a fit if she cannot for some reason participate in the Keem-up process (and no that is not a misspelling – it’s her word for doing chores.)

In the end, the hobgoblin mischief that she performs seems to cancel out with the nearly OCD tendencies to deal with the resulting messes. Except in her own room; and really, as long as the mess remains contained there, I really don’t care. She really is a brilliant kid – and that does not always mean trouble I have come to discover. She even feeds the dog – by hand because apparently, it is disgraceful for Bear to eat out of her own food bowl. We are still working on that – I am getting kind of tired of tripping over the dog food pieces that Bear missed.

Okay, now that I am done bragging about my beautiful, helpful, wonderful daughter… 🙂

The holidays have always been my favorite time of year for various reasons. The usual being the sights, smells, sounds, and flavors of the season. I would say that my main reason was because it was the season to celebrate gratefulness and the birth of our Savior, but for honesty purposes I will admit that this was not always the case. It is a part of the process, but I definitely focused more on the temporary and material parts of the holidays. This will explain the reason why each year’s holiday ending brought with it a sense of melancholy and disappointment – until the next year’s celebrations began.

This year, I am so excited by a revelation brought about by God’s prompting that I have a feeling the disappointment and melancholy will be absent by the end.

Lately, we have become reawakened to the plight of the poor and the needy. Now we are not rich by any means, but we have our needs and even many wants met and statistically we are in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest people. That is staggering to me. I always thought of myself as sort of middle-class, but the fact that 90% of the world is poorer than me quite changes my perspective.

So what are we doing with these riches we have been blessed with by an amazing God? Not nearly enough. This will be the goal of our family from here on out. We will use our excess, our resources, to reach out to those in need – no matter how big or small the need. Instead of focusing our Christmas holidays on gift-giving and material accumulation like we have done every other year, we are going to start teaching Bella what we should have been learning ourselves long ago. That everything we have belongs to God and it is to be used – not in selfish gain and greed – for the welfare of others.

Not to say that gift-giving is a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong. I love having glittery, wrapped boxes under the tree waiting to be opened on Christmas morning. But we have lived so long with this concept of spending wildly over the holidays to fulfill a bunch of wants, knowing that within months, we will have forgotten that we wanted it at all. We focus on being fair to everyone, making sure that no one gets more than another – because God forbid, our children learn that nothing in life is fair. We make gift-giving an obligation and a forced habit, taking all of the joy and blessing out of the gifts.

This year, we are starting something new. Now we will be searching for ways to use the stewardship God granted us to bless others whether they be family, friends, or even – maybe especially – strangers. Thus our gifts will truly be given from the heart and will not lose the blessing that they were meant to hold.

I cannot wait to get started…

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