“If I only get that – then I’ll really be happy,” she said.
I was amazed. “You don’t really believe that? Do you?”
“Yes, it will make me happy . . .. I know it will.”
This was a conversation I had last week with a child from our church. It reminded me of the spiritual dangers of Christmas. Many children live in a world of lies. Every television commercial is making a promise that it’s product will never keep. Added together, these messages create a worldview with one unshakable foundation: If I can get more stuff, then I’ll be happy.
It’s not just the television that pushes the myth. Family traditions and good intentions also play their part. As a parent, I want to see the thrill in my son’s eyes when he opens his new Transformer. But what is the long term impact? Are we teaching kids that happiness comes in a box?
Stuff Does Not Equal Happiness
We must mark the difference between expressing love and encouraging greed. It’s no easy task and will require much prayer. Christmas can be a wonderful time of giving. We can celebrate God’s unique Christmas gift of Jesus to save this world. When we give to others, we are following His example and expressing love. But our focus on gifts can sometimes turn to greed. This happens when we exchange our joy in relationships for the temporary thrill of getting new things.
Lasting happiness only comes God’s way. He has made us to find real delight in knowing Him and following His ways. We must teach kids to find their joy in God and the relationships He has given them. It goes back to the greatest commandments, love God and love other people.
What Do You Think?
I would like to hear back from you. Do you think toy-worship is a problem for children? What are you doing different this Christmas? What Christmas gifts for kids do you recommend? Join the conversation by leavning a comment below.