Let’s all take a moment and thank the Lord for another holiday season come and gone. Maybe yours was Pinterest / Hallmark movie / Matching pajamas perfect. Maybe yours was stressful and you delicately navigated volatile relationships of family and friends visiting. Maybe you just felt relief when you checked out of the grocery store and your card was NOT declined – but break out in sweat as to what bills await you at home. Maybe everything was just….fine…..you had fun, got a couple nice presents, ate some good food and felt content.
Each year on Christmas Eve I have a fear that the kids will be disappointed in Christmas. Did we get enough, is it equal, did we satisfy their little desires. Ellie is simple. She makes her list (it’s always short) early on and sticks to it. Sam wants everything he sees and the last commercial for a fun item is the thing he really really really wants. The one thing they have both asked for, for a long time was their own tablets or smartphone or some sort of electronic device. We’ve purposely not given them use any of those things, we fought it as long as we could – but they use them in school and it was finally time.
Anyways. Ellie wants to play music, Sam wants to play games. Under the tree we had a wireless speaker for Ellie and headphones for Sam. They opened them and got excited and when all the presents were opened, we said “Well, did you get what you wanted? Are you happy?” They said yes, but here they were with 2 items that really have no function unless they got an electronic device.
TJ peeked behind the couch…..wait….. What’s that? 2 boxes, 1 labeled to each of them. Surprise! Each had a tablet, preloaded with games and books they would each like. Headphones for Sam to play games, a speaker so Ellie can jam in her room. Hooray. It was fun to pull off a surprise reminiscent of Ralphie getting his BB gun in “A Christmas Story”.
But I was thinking, before they opened the tablets, would they really be ok with a speaker and headphones? They said they were fine but were they just being polite (which…come on…..these are kids) They were happy. The got things they wanted, but once the “wow” gift was revealed, it made it that much better. How often am I satisfied with mere accessories when God is revealing the “Wow” gift? This is how Christmas is. We have all these fun “accessories” – parties, cookies, pretty trees, Christmas lights, etc etc and they are GREAT. But without the birth of Jesus, they are mere side dishes to a greater feast. We are too easily satisfied with accessories, when God’s glorious reveal in Bethlehem, in a manger, surrounded by animals, was the ultimate wow gift of Christmas.