Saturday, November 29, 2008

I want it, I need it, I have to have it

I had told myself that I would NOT go shopping on Black Friday. I really meant it.

If not for the sake of our limited budget, then, definitely for the sake of my lumbering pregnant body. But I could not get the woes of my sock drawer out of my head. I really needed new socks that didn't have holes in them or were thinning and that I could wear to a friend's house and not feel utterly embarassed when I removed my shoes.
So, I got up on the dreadful day of shopping and went shopping. Yes, for socks.

I took my time, didn't rush, didn't get to the sale until 8:30 am. Memories of crazy agitated ladies jamming their carts into my legs flashed through my head. But I was pleasantly suprised that people were pleasant and cordial and polite. The crowd began increasing around 10 am because the end of the sale was near. That's when I took my tired rear and got out of there. With more than just socks ;-D.

When I read about this story at Wal Mart (which, by now you've probably heard a dozen times), I was incredulous. Hey, I'm all for saving a few bucks! Especially if one is trying to be wise and budget saavy. I went out to buy half-priced socks anyway. But, really? Why would someone not stop if they saw a person being trampled to their death? God, save us all. What is Christmas anyway? An orgy of spending and getting to make us happy for one fleeting moment?

I could be disappointed that we don't have much extra money to spend on gifts this year, but actually I'm not. Maybe this year we'll finally let the truth of that Blessed babe's birth sink in deep.

A few weeks ago, we received a toy catalogue in the mail. I put it aside for Gracie to browse, reminiscing about my childhood when I would pour over those pages for hours, dreaming about all the new toys I could have. Of course, Grace was thrilled and even went so far as to mark the pages of things she liked. But then a day went by, and two and three, and I noticed that she was carrying the catalogue around with her and looking through it 3+ times a day. "Hmmm, maybe that wasn't such a grand idea of mine" I thought. I debated what to do. Do I give her a big lecture on wanting and greed and lust for what we don't have? Do I just sneakily throw it away when she's asleep? Do I just ignore what I see? But isn't what I see an indicator of what may be in her heart? It's in my heart too.

The same day we received the toy catalogue, we received a World Vision catalogue. It's pages are full of children and testimonies and animals, clothing, water, etc. that you can purchase for families. I had the brilliant (or divinely inspired) idea to sit down with Grace and read through it with her. We talked about those children and what kind of toys they played with. We talked about how many toys we have. Now she is excited that we are going to spend $30 and send a family 5 ducks. We may spend more and send some soccer balls and care for orphans.

Of course, we will still thoroughly enjoy our girls' faces lighting up when they open their gifts on Christmas day, but my prayer is that the getting wouldn't be the goal. May the Light of the world be evident in our homes this year.

~ christa jean

P.S. My husband suggested that we should name our baby boy Jesus if we give birth on Christmas day. What do you think?


Brenna said...

Nooooo! There's only one of Him. I say Elliot!

angie said...

My daughters school raised money to buy goats for families in Africa last year and it was such a positive experience for our whole family. Are you due on Christmas? All of my babies have been born around the holiday season and it has always been really special. Plus, for me it made that last trimester fly by. :)

la Welch said...

Ohhh Carter....he would say that :) I think you should go with something more subtle, perhaps a combo of Carter and Jesus like "Cartesus" or "Jeter..." Actually scratch Jeter, just remember he is a Yankee and I can't stand them :)