My main goal of the day was to get our toy situation under control. We hope that Christmas this year will be scaled down on the toy front but I still had to make room for two larger items we know the kids are getting. Plus, our toys had just gotten a little too helter skelter for my taste.
I started by pulling out every single toy we own and putting it in the living room. Everything (with the one exception of books and outside toys). This is what it looked like - and notice it spread to the dining room:
|The boxes on the couch are full, too. I hadn't unloaded them yet.|
I felt simultaneously blessed and dismayed.
Is this what makes me happy?
Is this what makes my children happy?
Would they be equally happy with less stuff?
What if they were happier with less?
I imagine there are people with exponentially more toys than us but I also bet there are other people with fewer toys who are quite happy! Do my children appreciate all they have? I think so. They are still a smidge young to have a very profound gratitude for all their toys, though, so demonstrating and teaching that appreciation is my job.
Since Mini Me was born (even before that, really), I have wanted to instill the real meanings of happiness - and Christmas - in my children. Joy is not derived from stuff. As my husband and I discussed one night, we remember the things we did with our families and Christmas traditions more than the stuff we received as gifts. The togetherness memories are much more meaningful and poignant than the gift memories, we noticed. I bet that is true for many people.
I spent the rest of my day of solitude dusting, vacuuming, mopping, wiping, sanitizing, organizing, sorting, and arranging. I even did the closets! I de-junked and put things in their places and counted it as a very successful day. I really reflected on our "stuff" during the hours I worked. I like (most of) our stuff and I make purchases that contribute to our stuff, but I couldn't stop thinking about how all the stuff I went through was just...stuff...
I pray that my children recognize and appreciate the blessings we have - including the stuff - but even more, I hope they recognize and appreciate the blessings of health, a loving family, safety, security, and opportunity that we have. God's perfect grace saturates our lives and I hope He leads me as a mother to show how I am grateful for that grace during the Christmas season... and the rest of the year!