And so it begins…Halloween is over and store aisles are packed with Christmas everything. Mail catalog numbers have increased and television commercials are promoting things we supposedly can’t and shouldn’t live without.
Ikea is one of the stores getting into the Christmas spirit with a commercial called “The Other Letter.”
Ikea had children write a Christmas wish letter to The Three Kings and a second letter to their parents. The letters to The Three Kings were filled with items the children wanted; the letters to parents were quite different. The children didn’t ask for things at all. They said things like:
The majority of the parents were not surprised by what their children said they wanted for Christmas. But most of them read the second letter through tears. One said she couldn’t read anymore.
Parents thoughtfully acknowledged their children’s wishes by saying: “To spend all the time we have with them is the most we can give to our children.” “You want to give them the best you can and the best is yourself.” “The feeling of trying to substitute that vacuum with a toy.”
While the children’s letters were thought-provoking, the biggest surprise came when the children were asked, “If you could only send one of these letters, which one would you choose to send?” Each child chose the letter to their parents.
Before your blood pressure goes sky-high ascertaining how to give your children everything they “want” for Christmas, consider their true wishes. Perhaps the most valuable gift you could give your children is your time.
As you prepare for the holidays ahead, consider some of these ideas:
Families who spend time together make memories and feel a sense of belonging that can’t be bought in a store. Funny things happen and there is laughter, traditions are started, and family members really get to know each other.
People long and crave for intimacy in their own families. Store-bought gifts will never fill the void of precious time, so give it freely. It will last for a lifetime—no batteries or assembly required.