I also have to fight the notion that loving my kids equals getting them stuff. I love to bless my kids, but I have to redefine what "blessing them" is. Some friends of mine have already thought through a version of this question when it comes to school choices – one segment of the Christian culture would say if you love your kids and want to bless them, send them to private Christian school or at least the best, more homogenous public school (which certainly is one definition of “best”). But my friends have redefined what “best” means in that they want their daughter to have friends of all races and economic backgrounds and that they want her to learn to love the Lost as a part of everyday life, so they send her to a very diverse public school.
Diane and I are just doing that same redefiinf work in the area of Christmas spending. And, because our kids are young, we have the chance now to shape what Christmas looks like in terms of presents and in terms of giving, because they don’t have years of gifts to stoke their expectations. Now, coming from a big family, our kids will get presents from their grandparents to add to their mounds of stuff that they already have, and I even try to ask my family to scale back what they give us.