The holiday that most kids would happily admit is their absolute favorite is only days away. How do you navigate making this time of year as magical as a unicorn prancing over a rainbow while still keeping your kid grounded and content?
What mom doesn’t want to give their child everything they want and stuff it under the tree?
We all do.
It goes against every mommy-fiber to hold back and give less.
Here’s where you need to see the BIG PICTURE. If you want to raise an adult who is content with less stuff you need to include Christmas , too.
While it may sound insane, I want to teach you how to be a mean mom this Christmas.
- Mean Moms give fewer gifts. The more you give the more they expect. When a child is born we just can’t wait until they run around in feety-pajamas too excited to sleep because Santa is on his way. When they’re young they don’t know the difference between a gift from Toys R Us or The Dollar Store. Keep your head when you shop for their Christmas gifts and remember whatever you do now—they’ll expect even more of later.
- Mean Moms serve. Pray together as a family and ask God to show you someone you can serve and love. Ask your children who your family can help this year. Put a family in your crosshairs and drop off groceries, or be their secret santa and drop off a bag of gifts. Or, maybe you can do yardwork for neighbors going through a tough season. Where can you serve someone? Teach them to have eyes to see needs. It grows your kids faith BIG TIME and it’s a reminder that life is not all about them.
- Mean Moms focus on relationships. Do you bake cookies together, decorate your tree on a certain day, sing carols to the neighbors, are a secret Santa to a family at church? Toys you give your kids will be forgotten, but these relationship-building activities will remain. Traditions are relational, they’re the glue of life-long memories that bind your family together.
- Mean Moms make the kids help before and after ALL events. You’re not Santa’s helper sent down to be your child’s slave of fun, you’re training them to be responsible adults. No matter how much fun Christmas morning is at Grandma’s house, make sure you teach them to help set the table or hand them a garbage bag to help pick up the loose wrapping paper. Mean moms are raising adults, remember that.
- Mean Moms ask for social-media-FREE-zones. Our family started this tradition on Thanksgiving. It was AWWWESOME! Ask family members to have all their kids leave cellphones/smarphones at home, or in the family roadster before they come into your home. Tell your aunts, sisters, and cousins you want to enjoy one another this year. Having an iPhone or iPod around to bully itself into conversations with a jingle or chirp is not a recipe for fun. Plus, the grandparents will write you into the will BIG TIME for this.
- Mean Moms point to Jesus more than Santa. Each year I put out dozens of photos with my kids and Santa. I lay them out on my table for the kids to giggle and smile over. Santa is a fun part of the season. But, how much do you point to Jesus? It’s easy for Santa to be the bully on the block, so I have to be intentional. I use adornaments or go to Grace for Moms to grab some advent activities to share with my kids each day about the blessing of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season–do YOU make him a priority in your home? Mean moms do.
- Mean Moms remember what matters most. Before Christmas, ask your kids to name three of their absolute favorite Christmas gifts. I promise they’ll struggle to come up with the answer. As an adult, I know just being around the table and eating Grandma’s broccoli casserole is what remains in my memory, it’s not the money my family spent on presents or toys.
You want to know how to be a Mean Mom this Christmas? Fight the tidal wave of American culture and our insatiable appetite for more, more, more and be intentional about your relationships– it’s one another that matters most.