Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

The MTC is officially decorated with two big trees, lights and we have a party today with the Area leaders and Saturday with the temple. Connie bought a red sweater and luckily had a number of red scarfs, so she is set. We are awaiting the arrival of Michael, 4 Italian missionaries and at least 5 new North Americans, so all is well here.

I did have one experience with my Mexico condo that was enlightening. Every week I pay Rosa to take care of the place and every December I give her money for Christmas (everyone does that for their employees and there is a formula for how much you are to give which is an extra monthly payment) I did not give much thought to it this year as the condo was only used two weeks this year so there was not much maintenance. Last year I sent Rosa double what is normal for the Christmas bonus.

This year I got a note from Rosa's daughter asking for a 3 week advance so Rosa could be gone for awhile to visit her dad. I wrote to El Cid and told them to give her the three weeks pay for the weeks she would be gone, plus the extra monthly Christmas payment. I got back a note from the daughter asking why I had not given her the double bonus like last year. She said that they were planning on it and needed it. Of course I sent a note to El Cid to double it and explained that it was only an oversite on my part.

This experience got me to thinking about human nature. And it got me to thinking about the expectations of our children at birthdays and Christmas. I think all of you kids do a good job with your children and I do not think you get too carried away at Christmas. Just remember that when it comes to giving and receiving, we may think we are doing something good, but it might not really be that good for the child. Also, sometimes when we give, we put a strain on family finances that cause January and February to be very stressful. Give your children your love. Give your children your time. Make memories with them like you try to do every year with these family outings. Take pictures, talk about Jesus and help them to feel that we give presents to each other because we love our family and want to be together forever.

Don't get too carried away with what Santa does and does not do. Remember, he is not real and if you try to sell him too much, your children may not be able to trust you when you talk about the Savior, who really does actually give us something.

The truth is, as far as your parents are concerned--we love you and we would do anything for you, but we are not always sure what we should actually do. The Christmas present that we gave you this year was prompted by a feeling that we both had in the temple a week or so ago. We hope it was the right thing to do this year. We want you to know that we will always try to help, but we are not always sure when we are actually helping. Have a good Christmas.


Cali said...

I hope you know that I would never expect this kind of gift...ever! That being said, your gift to us this year is a very timely blessing for us.

You are right that it is hard to know what to do around this season. I want my kids to have a wonderful Christmas, but I don't want them to be spoiled brats either, and to have high expectations for years to come. It is a delicate balance. We are doing our best to celebrate traditions that bring us together and make memories. I asked Carolina what her favorite thing about Christmas is and her response was "being together with family". I asked Gigi, and she said "playing rudolph and getting presents" I guess I still have some work to do!

Thanks again Mom and year, just send a panetone...then our expectations will be really low for the year after that!!! :)

Earl Family said...

I don't know what you are giving us for Christmas this year, but I can say that the best gift you have ever given me is your son. And quite frankly that is just hard to top! However, the second best gift you have ever given me is that you are the grandparents of my children.

Cali is right. It is certainly hard to know what to do about this time of year. Especially in these times and circumstances. I love Christmas, and I ALWAYS had a great Christmas growing up.

As we talk with the kids about their favorite things about Christmas they all go back to family things and being together. Decorating the tree, looking at lights, making a gingerbread house, and "Secret Santa."

There is no doubt the money is tight (thanks to $7 grand in dental work) but Christmas will be great at our house this year. Thanks to great blessings, answered prayers and some serious bargain shopping on my behalf :)

Earl Family said...

PS. I just got your Christmas present in the mail.


What a surprise and a wonderful blessing. I was not expecting it, but it certainly helps me feel that Jesus loves me :) It is certainly a big help to us this year.

I love you.