By Melissa Hart
It’s Monday and you have exactly one week to get all of your Christmas shopping done. Aren’t you glad I reminded you? Some of you are in a panic, and others are thinking you have all the time in the world to get it all done. Either way –one week, y’all!
Over the weekend, we went to my parents and put up their Christmas tree. At 85, my mom still insists on a real Christmas tree, and I can’t blame her. There’s nothing quite like the stories that are re-told about the failed Christmas tree hunts that we seem to go on every year. I was just reminiscing with our second oldest son, Luke about that the other day.
Luke is nothing if he’s not practical. He’s a no-nonsense kind of kid but Luke also has a very soft, sentimental side. This is the kid at twelve years old wanted to bring his friends to the fair with him because their parents couldn’t afford the price of admission. This is the young man who comes to the rescue of any family member when their car breaks down, no matter if it’s day or night. He is the boy who helped me put down a new kitchen floor, fixed by KitchenAid mixer and when he was an adolescent I enjoyed taking him to run errands because he never asked for anything and we enjoyed great conversations.
|This is the tree JW went and cut down and on the way home, it fell out of JW's truck and broke in half. Luke and JW tried to make it presentable before they brought it into me. It was hopeless, but we used it and it made for a great story.|
|Luke and his high school sweet heart, Jessie.|
While he doesn’t remember those early years when we pulled the kids on the sled through the snow in search of the perfect tree, he does remember the year just he and I went and cut one down. We talked about the practicality of an artificial tree and that maybe we should all get one and stop this silly tradition of cutting one down. And then he said something I didn’t expect out of this practical young man, “It’s the whole experience of going and getting one that makes it fun.”
That served as a reminder that maybe there were some great moments that came out of their childhood. You see, there are days when I feast on mom-guilt. I can spend a lot of time mulling over all of the wrong things I did as a mom. So when Luke said this, a little moment of relief swept over me. Maybe our busy days as parents and dairy farmers weren’t all spent on work and no play. And just maybe all the time we spent working side by side served as an opportunity to deepen the bonds of family.
If you find yourself wondering if you’re doing the right thing by having your kids work on the farm with you this Christmas holiday instead of providing a week-long trip to Disney, rest assured that time spent together is time well spent. Use your errand running as a time to talk with your kids about their dreams sprinkled with a little encouragement about their strong points. Instead of loathing the thought of sitting in the bleachers for another game where they will go 2 for 10, know that your mere presence gives them confidence. And if you’re eating pizza on paper plates instead of that Pinterest worthy meal, remember it’s better to sit down to a meal of vegetables where there is love than a a fattened calf with hatred. (Prov. 15:17)
When you settle down and remember that less is more, it will always pay off in the long run.