I got this as an email from MOPS International today. I don't usually read them, but I am glad that today's was one I chose to read.
From home to home, and heart to
heart, from one place to another. The
warmth and joy of Christmas, brings
us closer to each other.
All I Want for Christmas …
Carla Foote, Director of Media
Even if you keep the gift giving simple, the whole process of making a “wish list” is an interesting glimpse into the minds and hearts of our children. I remember as a child, sitting with the big Sears “Wish Book” and marking pages. I don’t remember what I wished for, but I remember the process being very important to me. With my own children, I’ve tried to minimize the pressure of consumerism by limiting exposure to advertising. We don’t have a television and when they were younger I would even go so far as to hide the advertising fliers in the Sunday paper to avoid the litany of “I want ____.” This helped keep the wishes more reflective of my children’s personalities, rather than the popular “must-haves.”
My daughter would come up with the most unusual requests that gave me a glimpse into how she saw the world and what was important to her. One year she wanted “street signs.” Somehow in her detail mind, when she was playing pretend villages, she needed street signs in the scene. I did finally find a few small wooden street signs to wrap up and put under the tree. At about six or seven, she wanted a whiteboard for her bedroom. I thought it an odd gift, thinking some toy would be more appropriate. But the whiteboard became a visual “diary” for her where she could draw or write notes to herself. Ten years later, it is still in her bedroom, as a journal on the wall, with notes about books to read, personal goals, running and swimming times.
As moms, we can’t and probably shouldn’t make every wish come true for our children. But by listening to their wishes, we can get insight into their view of the world, their distinct way of learning and playing, and their passions. The wish list also gives me insight into how to pray for my children.
Prayer From a Mother's Heart
Dear God, thank you for the unique personality and vision that belongs to my child.
This email reminded me of a recent couple of conversations I had with Brilyn, who is 3 1/2. I aksed her what she thought Santa might bring her for Christmas. She replied, "Well, I already have everything. (pause) But Cade needs a bike." That made my week. Such a simple example of 'Wanting what you have means having what you want.'
But then, a few days later, Brilyn came running out of the playroom to let me know what Santa would bring her- a fishing pole. A pink one.
So like the author of the above story, a child's wish list gives insight into her personality. Brilyn likes outdoor activities. Her idea of what Santa will bring her matches that perfectly.
When I questioned her about what she would use it for, she said, "I'll take daddy fishing, but this time, he can ride on my back and I'll catch the fish."
As you can see, Brilyn has been fishing before. And, her fishing experience on the day the above picture was taken certainly went a long way in developing her outdoor character. Joe fishes the tribs in the winter wearing waders. He walks around in the water to get to the best spots. This day, he went in water too deep as evidenced by my poor little baby's wet feet. The best (worst) part of that story is that she never cried or complained and Joe didn't notice until he took her off his back at the end of the day. Don't worry- no babies were harmed in the making of this story. Her piggies are just fine.
But, I think when she says that daddy can ride on her back she silently thinks, "And daddy can hang there all day with wet feet in the 35 degree weather."