Hamo’s Christmas Thoughts

This was what I wrote as a ‘Christmas thought’ for our local Brighton newspaper:

Last Christmas I sat and watched my kids while they unwrapped their presents. As they opened each gift in turn it seemed their focus was simply on getting that one out of the way so they could see what was in the next package and the one after that. After she had unwrapped all of her presents my 4 year old daughter didn’t actually sit down and start playing happily. Instead, she asked ‘What’s next? Do I have more presents daddy?’

Of course there were more to come and later in the day after we had visited family and friends, we arrived home with an enormous swag of new toys, clothes and lollies. As I looked at the pile of loot and reflected on the day that had passed I felt disturbed. I wondered what message we were sending to our kids and what we were teaching them about life.

While much of Christmas is focused on the experience of giving and receiving gifts – something we certainly ought to enjoy – we do well to remember that at its core the Christmas story is about the gift that was given to the world in Jesus Christ, the one who’s birthday we celebrate, the one who said ‘a person’s life is not defined by what they own’.

Because after all, little kids grow up to be big kids and old habits die hard.

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