Children Don’t Need Our Presents…

Woke up to a beautiful and rainy Christmas Eve morning.  Garrett is sound asleep next to me.  This is my very first Christmas in 17 years that I am celebrating in California since we’ve always had them in Louisville, Kentucky.   It will be very solemn, elegant, intimate yet filled with joy and inspiration.

Garrett and I at South Coast Plaza

Yesterday, as I ran my last minute errands, one of my most favorite songs – which always moves me to tears – came to mind and I was so excited to introduce this song to Garrett.  It’s the song made popular by Amy Grant and Kelly Clarkson –

“My Grown Up Christmas List”

There is something about this song that stirs my heart.  Perhaps it has something to do with growing up in a very small town of Marikina in the Philippines, where Christmas was so simple yet so full of laughter and love.  My childhood memories of Christmas did not include Santa Claus or making a long list of gifts.  The excitement was centered around the “Noche Buena” or “Midnight Meal” on Christmas Eve, wondering what would be that one main gift I’ll be receiving the next morning and the highlight of it all was that on Christmas Day, we woke up really early, put on our brand new Christmas dresses, go to church, have breakfast then the fun begins.

We would then walk to every relative’s home to greet them “Merry Christmas” and in turn, they would give us some money.  It’s like saying “Trick or Treat” and being handed candy, but instead we say “Merry Christmas” and they gave us money!  Gosh, no wonder I love those days! LOL! Giving couldn’t get more unconditional than that!  Sometimes I would be asked to sing a Christmas Carol, but most of the time we just say a heartfelt “Thank You”,  then we would run to the next house.

We had a very close-knit family and we have hundreds of relatives – aunts, uncles and cousins who lived within a 5 blocks from each other that within a couple of hours, we would have already visited more than 20 homes and probably “generated” the equivalent of $10.00. We would take a small portion out of that to buy treats – chocolates, candies, sodas – and the rest went to our bank account.

Needless to say, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon.  My parents really did their best to give us the best they could that even though we didn’t have much, we never felt poor.  Sure I envied some of my friends who always had big homes, the best clothes and the best toys but I knew that one day, I would have them too so it wasn’t a big deal.

Garrett is our only child, our miracle child – our 4th pregnancy but 1st baby – so yes, there is a tendency to spoil him by lavishing him with everything he wants since Gary and I never experienced that.  Adding the element of self-imposed “guilt” from both of us working hard and spending  time away from him, makes us want to over compensate by giving him material goods.

The great news – one that I am really proud of – is that Garrett continues to grow up to be a compassionate, loving and appreciative young man.  As a Parentpreneur, I get to spend a lot of time with me so he’s like my own “Trusted Advisor” and that gives him a lot of confidence.  This Christmas, he wanted to belong to a very exclusive “VIP Black Club” from a prestigious group of magicians, mentalists and illusionists, so as our gift to him, we signed him up for that club.  He is so beyond excited that he doesn’t want anything else but that.

Long story short… Christmas truly isn’t about the presents.  It saddens me to hear of stories from friends where their children are so used to getting 20 gifts on Christmas Day and they’re still not appreciative.  I can see how it can become a vicious cycle of “How much is enough?”  When our children get trained that they are entitled to anything they want, how do we expect them to learn satisfaction, appreciation and gratitude?  Love can’t be found in material things… Love resides in our hearts…

I saw some one post this on Facebook this week:

“Children don’t just need our PRESENTS… they need our PRESENCE”

This truly is something to ponder on this season…

Oh, also want to share with you my favorite part of my favorite Christmas song… “Grown-up Christmas List” – may you find inspiration in this too!

“Grown-up Christmas list
Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee;
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies.

Well, I’m all grown-up now,
And still need help somehow.
I’m not a child ,
But my heart still can dream.

So here?s my lifelong wish,
My grown-up christmas list.
Not for myself,
But for a world in need.

No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And everyone would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end.
This is my grown-up Christmas list.”

Wishing you a Christmas and Holiday Season filled with FAITH, HOPE and LOVE – all knowing that the greatest of these still remains to be LOVE…

Cheering  You On!

Emma 😉

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