I love Christmas. I love celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love the time spent with family. I even love the hustle and bustle of buying gifts. Now, buying a gift for a toddler is an interesting predicament. You have the urge to get them all the toys you remember loving as a kid. Then reality sinks in and you remember that they just learned to walk and they put everything in their mouth. So, a construction kit with thousands of pieces and marbles is not only excessive, it’s downright dangerous.
Thankfully, I have had some success in toddler gift-giving before. When my youngest brother was a wee lad, his favorite thing to do was play with string and tape, so for one of his birthdays I got him a roll of duct tape and a spool of twine. He spent the entire day ignoring his more expensive toys so he could tie up and tape down the entire house. I was very happy with the success of my gift, though I’m not sure my parents felt the same way at the time.
One of my favorite gift-giving memories was my son’s first birthday. I had recently lost my job, and we couldn’t afford gifts or an elaborate party. So, my wife and I stayed up late blowing up balloons. I’m talking dozens and dozens of balloons. Our son woke up and crawled into the living room to find a sea of inflatable joy in every color. He laughed and giggled and bounced around in the balloons all morning. No toy could have imparted the same level of amazement that those cheap balloons did.
Let’s be more like toddlers and take delight in the simple joys God has blessed us with.Click to tweet
With this in mind, my wife and I decided last Christmas that our toddler didn’t really need many gifts. We got him one small toy and knew he would be just as happy opening boxes and playing with the excess wrapping paper. My mom, on the other hand, had other plans in mind.
Grandparents are allowed to go overboard. That’s part of their gig, I get it. But my mother got so many gifts for my son that we needed a whole extra suitcase to bring them home. Don’t get me wrong; her presents were a huge blessing and our son continues to play with them to this day, but sometimes we all tend to go overboard at Christmas.
As kids, the simplest thing like a box, wrapping paper, or a roll of tape can be all the toy we need. As we grow older, our things become more and more complex and it takes more of these things to give us the same level of joy we had as children. I myself have gotten so wrapped up in researching a new gadget or computer that by the time I get it, I’m stressed about the purchase, and any blessing I should have gotten from it is gone. How silly is that!?
So, once again, our children can impart wisdom without even knowing it. Take a step back from the things of this world. Let’s be more like toddlers and take delight in the simple joys God has blessed us with. Jesus taught us in Mathew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Whether holiday shopping stresses you out or you enjoy the hustle and bustle like I do, let us always remember that the greatest gift has already been given.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
We can’t out-give God, and that’s something worth celebrating.
Family Radio Staff