“This is what I want,” my son said as he flashed an expensive item before me. I saw the price first and the present second. Almost half my Christmas budget.
This was not my first Christmas with children or my first Christmas with adopted children. I have learned the hard way that children from hard places sometimes want proof that someone loves them. Material proof. If you love me then you will buy me this pricey present, they challenge.
It was daughter, Audrey who reminded me of the important truth- I am not a vending machine (and neither are you). Christmas presents do show others that we love them, but they are not based on coins spent or love doled out in material measure. Each gift should fit the recipient and the budget of the giver. We Moms can easily throw our whole year’s budget when we feel compelled to love a child with the vending machine mentality.
* * *
The sad truth is no matter what we buy a child, it will never fill the need for love. Material things are not eternal soul-fillers.
* * *
The child may be happy for a moment, a week or a month, but eventually that vending machine need grows into greed. And greed is never satisfied. Greed never loves. Greed doesn’t affirm. Greed doesn’t hug or play board games or read books. Greed just cries for more.
So, this Christmas don’t fall into the vending machine trap. Fall into the loving, time-giving, affirming habit. Christmas gifts are not the purpose, they are the icing on the cake of Him who gave the perfect present-Himself.