I found this post from the M.O.B. Society powerful and worth pondering on December 1st, 2010
Moth and Rust
I have four little boys who really don’t know anything about Christmas. They have no clue that Americans spend over 200 Billion dollars per year on Christmas gifts. They don’t know that most of their peers families will spend $800-$1000 on gifts, whether they can afford it or not. They would not complain if we gave them one 99 cent hotwheels car, and that’s it. Its a beautiful thing. It’s not going to last.
Christmas is about our God sending us a Savior in the form of a baby boy 2000+ years ago. They do know that. They do know the words and hand motions for “Away in a Manger”. They also know that it’s not just about His birth, it’s because he came to die. Even at 3, they knows these essential truths.
The battle for Christmas will begin to intensify this year to keep the focus of Christmas where it ought to be. We are blessed to have a wonderful extended family who love and are loved by our children. Naturally, they will all purchase the boys toys, and I don’t fault them for doing so, we will too. However, my boys are sinful, they were born that way. (Eph. 2:3, Psalm 51:5) They won’t need to be taught to love material things, that will come naturally.
So what do we do? There are a number of things that can be done to help curb the materialism that is Christmas in the United States. We could quit buying things for them at Christmas all together. We could demand that our extended families also exclude our children from the gift tradition. I personally know a christian family who has opted out of Christmas gifts. It’s a legitament consideration.
What are we going to do? Personally, we are choosing to address the sin in their hearts instead of trying to shield them from the temptation. Why? Because I don’t think it’s realistic to think that we will successfully shield their hearts from the temptation of materialism by opting out of gifts. The issue will not be avoided in our culture, it must be dealt with.
How do we address this difficult sin?
Once all the gifts are opened and the wrapping paper is in the trash, we are going to teach our boys about moths and rust.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matt. 6:19
I plan to pile all of their new gifts in the center of the room and sit them down for a lesson. I am going to pick up that new dump truck they are drooling over and ask them where it will be when “they get big like daddy”. I will go get a broken toy from last years Christmas, one they no longer play with much, and show them that this old toy is now trash. I am going to use any tool I can think of to drill an essential idea into their little heads: “Do NOT store up treasures on earth…”
I want them to enjoy their new toys, and I will encourage them to thank God for the wonderful gifts they receive. But moms, our boys have got to realize that the things of this world are temporary. We don’t get to take any of it with us, not even the clothes on our backs. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there.”