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A Lesson on Thankfulness and Gratitude

Typically, we’re a low-key kind of family when it comes to gifts for the children for Christmas.  This year was an exception.  Now that the kids are older and they know what they want, but not in a demanding way, we want to bless them.  So this year, we splurged. With our parents’ generous giving, my brother’s, and ours, the kids got lots of presents.  They had a great Christmas.  The house was filled with much giddiness.

Each child easily got 10 gifts, not just any gifts, but gifts that they really desire.  One particular child who shall remain unnamed got grumpy when his/her very last present was opened because it was not to this child’s liking.  I was taken back by the reaction because this is after opening 10 fabulous gifts, but this child chose to focus on the one he/she did not like.  When asked what was wrong with the gift, this child put on a sour face and then burst into tears.  Needless to say, I had to address the problem right away.  We remedied the situation so all is well now.

The same evening my brain cell depleted brain started to spin and ponder upon this situation.  I admit that I was incredulous and unhappy that this child was so ungrateful for the many wonderful gifts he/she got.  Like I mentioned earlier, we splurged this year, but it didn’t translate to gratitude for this one particular child.  My husband started to blame himself thinking it was his fault because he picked the wrong gift for this child, but I disagreed.  I told him that in this case it was not the giver’s fault, rather it was the child’s poor attitude and ingratitude.  I can certainly understand the disappointment if this was the ONLY gift that we gave, but this certainly wasn’t the case.  After sighing and feeling incredulous, I had an epiphany.

Isn’t this how we treat God?  He has given us so many wonderful things, but we choose to focus on one small thing that we don’t like.  We complain about that one thing we either didn’t get or don’t like.  How easily we forget His generosity in other things.  We are so intent on that one thing that we complain about the Giver.  Why isn’t God giving me this or that?  It must be the Giver’s fault.

Parenting has taught me a lot about life.  It has so many correlations to how we adults relate to one another and to God.  A child’s sins/faults are more apparent and we can see them more clearly, but before we think we are better than them, we need to remember that deep down we are just like them.  Our faults are more easily masked so we can get away with our sins more readily.  But God is not fooled.

This Christmas season we were able to savor the coming of Jesus each of the 28 days leading up to Christmas.  It was a wonderful time spending approximately 45 minutes each night reading and talking about the coming of Christ.  Even though one of our children’s grumpy attitude upon receiving a gift he/she didn’t like put a brief damper on this joyous occasion, I am thankful that it is a lesson that reminds me of the ultimate gift of God: Jesus Christ.  This gift is much much more than we can ever ask for.  The Savior of the World came to save us from our sins.  What a wonderful gift!  I am thankful and eternally indebted.

Posted in General, Parenting.

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