All Christmas season, Matt and I spend a lot of time reminding Payton & Maxwell what Christmas is really about. We keep Christmas small (at least here at home), we don't play up Santa, we have the boys purchase gifts for Operation Christmas Child each year, we talk often about the events surrounding the birth of baby Jesus, and we talk about how much fun giving is. We do acts of giving through our advent stockings and we give to neighbors in secret - to remind them that it's better to give than receive. We talk about how this is the only time we see some of family members and that is more important than any gift you may get.
But as a parent, sometimes I wonder if any of it's getting through. Especially when Payton asked "Why didn't you get me any new games to go with my new DSi?" I thought Matt was going to lose it. We, again, discussed the giving, not the receiving and being happy with what you have.
It's hard to know if the life lessons you're teaching are impacting them in anyway. Especially during the time I was reviewing gift receiving manners with Maxwell on Christmas Eve. I asked him "What do you say when someone gives you a present?" His answer was the correct one; "Thank you very much!" But when I asked him "What do you do when someone gives you a gift you don't like?" His reply was "You give it back!!!" OY! Out of the mouth of babes!!!
But there was a moment this Christmas that showed me what we are teaching our boys, even if they need reminders occasionally (or often) does seep into their little brains somehow. On Christmas Day, while eating dinner with my parents, Payton was asked to pray. He said our recited prayer of "Dear Jesus, thank You for our food, and our family, and our friends..." This is where we end most nights. But in this moment, Payton paused. And he tagged on the end, "...and help us to remember what Christmas is really about; the birth of baby Jesus and being with family."
Those are the moments you know all the lessons you teach are getting through...one small bit at a time.