With Christmas just recently over, I gathered my kids' new Christmas toys in one big bag while thinking of where to store all these new loots. These were mostly toys given by godparents and thoughtful relatives and friends. For Zoe, her favorite toy now is the twist car that she received from her grandfather (I'll post the pictures after I transfer the files from the cellular phone). It's something like an Ezy Roller but it's made of plastic. She also got some personalized pillowcases from her aunties and a nap mat.
Anyway, while carrying away the toys to the play room in the attic, one of the things that crossed my mind is how I, as a parent, can provide an example of the true spirit of Christmas amidst the many and almost unavoidable spirit of "consumerism" that tags itself along with Christmas. By that I don't want to mean we will get rid of the idea of receiving gifts altogether next Christmas. I just want to my kids to be more reflective about Christmas as they grow up and not just look forward to the season just because they will be given new toys and new clothes.
At the top of my head, I am thinking that maybe it would be better to take advantage of the Christmas season to give them good experiences, rather than just good gifts. I read somewhere that part of your Christmas tradition (and resoultion) as a parent should be getting to spend more quality time with your children. This could range from getting off from work promptly to be with them, cooking for them a special meal every Sunday of Advent, bringing them to a fun show or to the park, driving to a nearby town to explore nature...you know, things like that. Of course, giving them a new book or a new bike would be an awesome thing for a kid especially during Christmas. It's still a good thing to do but it shouldn't just end there. As a parent, our aim is to give our children the best, both in material and non-material things. Why? Because we love them.