our toddler christmas wish list:: a letter to the grandparents

by Matt MooneyDecember 5, 2012

After much cussing and discussion on Christmas’ nearness, Gin and I spent some time hashing out how we were going to do Christmas different.  Everyone I know wants to Christmas to be more meaningful and less hijacked.  Turning that desire into action has been another thing altogether.  In order to align our thoughts and our own families, we wrote a letter to both of our parents.  Now you gotta know some things before the following letter will make sense to you.  Gin and I both have unbelievable parents.  To say we are blessed in this department is akin to saying Tebow’s biceps are a smidge larger than my own.

They give and serve and love in ways that teach us so much.  But the letter was an attempt to relay that we were trying to take our family a different direction and we wanted them to push in the same direction.  I offer the letter up not as a template for your own family but as a possible encouragement to lead your own family intentionally.

Another thing you need to know is that when Ginny and I lost Eliot, we got the horrible gift of thinking and hoping how we would one day do it.  We watched others, jotting down notes on how-to and how-not-to, longing to put them in play one day…. so we’re living our dream to get to implement our desires and best love and lead these little ones.  It’s long, there’s your warning.

_______________________

Dear Family,

This Christmas will, in all reality, be the first one for our little family of 5 (really 6).  Our kids are old enough to think, talk and take it all in, Lena is here & mom and dad are not out of the country.  With that said, I am writing this to you in order to help us this year as we seek to implement some ideas and emphasize the incarnation of God over some more common themes.

I want you to hear that this is not about being grinches.  We love Christmas and we love our kids and desire to show them our love in lavish ways and with lavish gifts.  Also, we know that YOU love our kids, and they love you.  And the truth- because of their affections for you- is that we are fighting a losing battle if you are not with us.  Please join with us in this journey and help us.  After all, you did raise us and you obviously did a great job with that.

Some of this is due to the fact that you have more money than we do; our current reality is stretching our budget.  But we like it, and we have never wanted for a thing.  And we want our kids to bear up under where God has placed us as well.  As you know, you all are the kind to help, and we are not the kind to ask for it.  So, some of these thoughts reflect that we are in a place to sometimes be very practical, and by following our ideas, you can be a huge help.

Have we over-thought this? Probably.  Are we naïve and will we change as they age? Definitely.  But we would rather go down trying too hard to convey the one real love than assimilate out of ease and miss an opportunity to point to something better than the world offers.

Ginny and I have been talking for years about our intentions to be intentional with our family during the holidays as well as with each day that our kids spend under our roof.  The truth is that though we have these wishes for the holidays, we never seem to see them actually realized and walk away having not lead our children in the ways we desire.  That ends this Christmas.

To help you- and honestly us- better understand what we’re talking about, I’ve developed the following.  More guidelines than rules; we hope that the essence of our hopes and desires for the holidays (and beyond) are communicated below:

Intentionally Different.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:14)

It is Ginny & I’s firm belief that our default settings- no matter how well intentioned and even within the arena of parenting- are programmed by the world around us- the water in which we swim.  If we want our children to not reflect the world around us- the world surrounding them- then we must take the wheel and swerve off the usual paths at pointed times on the journey.
Without choosing how and what we will do different, we are choosing to follow, which ultimately leads our children nowhere near where we intended to take them.  There is resistance when you swerve; it is harder when you swerve.  It is inconvenient; it is work; it is weird.

We’re swerving.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Gifts:
Christmas:
If you get Christmas gifts for our children, let’s do no more than four (of course you can get fewer).  Stick to the following list as to parameters for the gifts:
• Something You Want::
• Something You Need::
• Something to Wear::
• Something to Read::
(I stole this from Jen Hatmaker who probably stole it from someone else, but that link is a great resource)
Let us know if you need ideas in any of those areas.
The kids will get to give away anything that exceeds this.
We have a stocking for Eliot in which we let the kids pick stuff to put in there and we give away…so if you want (or just can’t stop at 4), buy stuff for Eliot’s stocking and we’ll give it away.

Birthdays:
Memories trump gifts:
In addition, for birthdays, we are asking that you design for them an EXPERIENCE with you instead of getting them gifts.  It could be a sleep-over, a special day with you, a man-day for Anders, a manicure for Hazel….you get the idea.  Spend time with them and tell them how unique and wonderfully made they are.  Tell them that a birthday is worth celebrating because God does good work.  If you must get them a gift, limit it to 1 gift please.

Investments trump broken toys:
Also, for birthdays we would ask that you consider taking the money that you would have spent on gifts and put it in their college fund instead or a fund you create for them if you want.

Lena:
For Lena, instead of a college fund, birthdays would be a great time to get her a piece of equipment or something for her in our house that we could otherwise not get.  Maybe we could all pull together for something for her if needed.
***** Also, we invite you to break all the rules for Lena’s upcoming 6th birthday because her first 5 birthdays were not celebrated, and at times such as these….rules are made to be broken.

Quality trumps Quantity:
With everything you purchase, we would ask that it break less and last more.   This is more expensive, we know.  But think this way…. 1 wooden train trumps 4 plastic things.  This is so that the kids can give their toys away when they are done with them.  Quarterly, Ginny asks the kids to pair down their stash so other children can have things to play with.  It’s nice if we can actually give things away rather than have to throw them away.

THE SANTA CLAUSE:
This is more a- just so you know- one.  It’s not something we’re asking you to memorize & not veer from or even be sure to say.  Rather, just know that this is what we’re saying and if you’re saying something completely different, then they’ll have to decide whose lying…which, in the end, will be you 🙂

We say that Santa is a story that reminds us about Saint Nick, and Saint Nick was a real person that gave gifts to those in need because of his love for Jesus.   We have a VeggieTale movie that tells of Saint Nick and you can learn more about him here if you need.

If pressed- and, of course we are by Hazel- we say that Santa is not real but that it is not our job to go and tell every child that fact.  It is something we keep to our self.  Other than that, anytime we’re talking a lot about Santa we figure it’s a good opportunity to remind them of what Christmas actually is….a time where we celebrate when God came to earth by being born as a baby named Jesus.

Advent::
Ginny is leading the kids through very simple, daily devotionals in order to help us anticipate the coming of Christ together.  (Ginny is adapting this resource which we learned of from Ann Voskamp).  That is where we desire to place the spotlight.  God became man and that changed everything.  And we should eat and drink and receive and give and celebrate together….because He is Emmanuel- God with us.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)

Again, more for us than you.
Thanks for loving us all so well.

_______________
Okay, we will return to #Johnin25 now.
Never too late to join in and start reading the corresponding chapter of John with the day of month.

11 Comments

  1. Cary on December 5, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This is so great…very in line with how we handle things at our home. I do wish the grandparents in my life would accept this as graciously as I know yours will.

  2. Dee-Anne on December 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I actually don’t celebrate any of the major holidays because of their pagen origins. I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to explain to my son why we don’t celebrate but why he still gets presents, etc from certain family members. I guess with honesty just as you are handling the Santa issue with Hazel. Here’s to your families being supportive!

  3. RLR on December 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I just sent an email to the Grandparents this evening, with very short lists. As I told them, it is very difficult to think of anything I want our kids to have/get because they still have so much (even after my paring down of their collections while they were at grand camp for a week this summer). It may seem scrooge-y, but we want for nothing and need for very little. What I want more than anything is money to go on a retreat with my ladies’ group from church. I’ve never been able to go (we’ve been at our church for about 7 years) – sometimes about finances and sometimes about child care – and this (well, next) year I’d really like to have the opportunity. I’m with you on “experiences” – oftentimes, they are worth way more than “stuff.”
    I really like what you said about birthdays. I think we don’t celebrate those enough around here – partly because of finances and partly because maybe I’ve just forgotten how. They have just become kind of low-key, and that makes me sad. Thank you for the reminder that birthdays are worth celebrating.

  4. Jessica Netherton on December 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    When I stumbled upon your blog many years ago, I had no clue who you were or that we went to the same church. I was strongly drawn to your writing because I felt like you were speaking to me. We have wrestled with similar emotions and questions about life and realizations about GOD. Maybe its because Ginny, you and I are all around the same age and that we have all know heartache, though different, that not many our age has not walked through. Or maybe don’t want to walk through it, but stay stuck in it. None of this may make sense, because I definitely DO NOT have the gift of writing that you OBVIOUSLY do. I think my gift is more in the listening department. I’m writing all the gibberish to say THANK YOU for using your gift. THANK YOU for following your urgings from the Spirit to share your heart and thoughts with us. THANK YOU for pushing us to reflect and tackle difficult ideas. THANK YOU for adding a sense of humor and being real. Life is hard. Life hurts. People hurt, but people don’t want others to know that they don’t have it all together. Unfortunately this reality keeps all people from truly realizing love, joy, comfort, and most importantly what the LORD has for each of us. The world says don’t be real, don’t let them know you aren’t perfect. I long for real. I long to love on people and have them love on me. I long for a community of being the hands and feet of Jesus not each other. So in the mean time I hold out that it will happen in my lifetime. I know I’ve went on a tangent, but I guess that’s what I get for commenting on a blog, which again isn’t something I do. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to read along on your (You and Ginny, I read her blog as well) life journey because it echos so much in my own journey. Oh by the way, I’m reading John. Sincerely, Jessica Netherton

    • Matt Mooney on December 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Jessica,
      Thanks so much for breaking your own rule of not commenting. You’re heart is clear within you words and is such an encouragement. So glad to know you guys and hope for more crossing paths in days ahead. Welcome to John! Glad your along. I’ll send you email updates when they’re ready.

  5. John Michael on December 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Well done, love it. We busted out the “we aren’t going to practice the Santa Claus ritual” to our parents last year. You would have thought we were turning agnostic or something! Lance and Grant roll with it all so it’s no biggie with the boys. Kora the 3 year old is a different animal! She is processing big time. The difference between Christmas 2 and Christmas 3 is tremendous. Your entry will equip us well!
    Another dynamic is that of the cousins! You have to respect your brother and sister’s ways of rearing their kids but stick to your beliefs at the same time. It’s tricky!!! Gotta love and embrace life’s challenges though!
    Also, when is Miss Lena’s 6th birthday? Just smiling thinking about that day.

  6. ann on December 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    For encouragement, my youngest child is 20. We never “DID” Santa Clause, we DID a St. Nick gift for someone – one that we prepared and left in secret. It was not someone in poverty usually, it was usually someone with WAY more than anyone could use. It was always the most fun thing of the holidays. The limited gifts were more than enough, our parents did think we were ruining our children’s childhood. We persevered. I asked my children this week if they “missed Santa” and the answer was “Why? What was there to miss?”
    So, if you are so moved, go for it, they will be fine, and you won’t ever look back. We did and do try to make Christmas about giving not getting. I never ask “What do you want for Christmas” I always ask – what are you giving for Christmas? Who is our St. Nick family?

    It’s a wonderful celebration of giving.

  7. Britney Nichole on December 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you for this! I’m sharing it now on facebook. I have a lot of girlfriends who have felt pressed and pressured by loving family who simply think we’re all crazy. 😉 But it’s true that our families are wonderful and just trying to show love in a fun way, so it is so helpful to have the heart of this idea expressed so well.

    How old is your Hazel? Our little girl Annika is 4 and we have been telling her that, while St. Nick is real and was a special guy, Santa is make-believe. We talk a lot about the nature of “make-believe” and how its something we pretend and make ourselves believe just for fun. We love imagination around here. 🙂 And when we are having fun in our make-believe, we would never want someone to say, “hey that’s not real!” and spoil our fun. So Annika understands that it would be mean and unnecessary to tell people that Santa isn’t real because we are all just having fun in pretending the story. She knows that some families don’t believe about Jesus so they may talk about Santa a lot more than we do, and she knows that the Jesus story is REAL, not make-believe, and so that’s why it’s what our family’s Christmas is all about.

    It’s so tricky deciphering all this culture stuff and fitting it well with our parenting!

    • Matt Mooney on December 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Hazel is four as well. Love the make believe explanation & H would be all over that. Thanks for the encouragement and idea as well.

  8. Wendi Wilcox Stanley on December 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you for this! So great! I so desire and hope I do similar things with and for Owen.

    Ginny, while I am reading this… I have a playlist going and guess what is playing… “I will not forget you”, by 100 Portraits… so fitting. I have so many wonderful memories of listening to this song with you, oh soooo many years ago!

    I hope you guys are doing well!

  9. Joy Primm on January 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Love love love this all. So great.

Leave a Comment





After much cussing and discussion on Christmas’ nearness, Gin and I spent some time hashing out how we were going to do Christmas different.  Everyone I know wants to Christmas to be more meaningful and less hijacked.  Turning that desire into action has been another thing altogether.  In order to align our thoughts and our own families, we wrote a letter to both of our parents.  Now you gotta know some things before the following letter will make sense to you.  Gin and I both have unbelievable parents.  To say we are blessed in this department is akin to saying Tebow’s biceps are a smidge larger than my own.

They give and serve and love in ways that teach us so much.  But the letter was an attempt to relay that we were trying to take our family a different direction and we wanted them to push in the same direction.  I offer the letter up not as a template for your own family but as a possible encouragement to lead your own family intentionally.

Another thing you need to know is that when Ginny and I lost Eliot, we got the horrible gift of thinking and hoping how we would one day do it.  We watched others, jotting down notes on how-to and how-not-to, longing to put them in play one day…. so we’re living our dream to get to implement our desires and best love and lead these little ones.  It’s long, there’s your warning.

_______________________

Dear Family,

This Christmas will, in all reality, be the first one for our little family of 5 (really 6).  Our kids are old enough to think, talk and take it all in, Lena is here & mom and dad are not out of the country.  With that said, I am writing this to you in order to help us this year as we seek to implement some ideas and emphasize the incarnation of God over some more common themes.

I want you to hear that this is not about being grinches.  We love Christmas and we love our kids and desire to show them our love in lavish ways and with lavish gifts.  Also, we know that YOU love our kids, and they love you.  And the truth- because of their affections for you- is that we are fighting a losing battle if you are not with us.  Please join with us in this journey and help us.  After all, you did raise us and you obviously did a great job with that.

Some of this is due to the fact that you have more money than we do; our current reality is stretching our budget.  But we like it, and we have never wanted for a thing.  And we want our kids to bear up under where God has placed us as well.  As you know, you all are the kind to help, and we are not the kind to ask for it.  So, some of these thoughts reflect that we are in a place to sometimes be very practical, and by following our ideas, you can be a huge help.

Have we over-thought this? Probably.  Are we naïve and will we change as they age? Definitely.  But we would rather go down trying too hard to convey the one real love than assimilate out of ease and miss an opportunity to point to something better than the world offers.

Ginny and I have been talking for years about our intentions to be intentional with our family during the holidays as well as with each day that our kids spend under our roof.  The truth is that though we have these wishes for the holidays, we never seem to see them actually realized and walk away having not lead our children in the ways we desire.  That ends this Christmas.

To help you- and honestly us- better understand what we’re talking about, I’ve developed the following.  More guidelines than rules; we hope that the essence of our hopes and desires for the holidays (and beyond) are communicated below:

Intentionally Different.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:14)

It is Ginny & I’s firm belief that our default settings- no matter how well intentioned and even within the arena of parenting- are programmed by the world around us- the water in which we swim.  If we want our children to not reflect the world around us- the world surrounding them- then we must take the wheel and swerve off the usual paths at pointed times on the journey.
Without choosing how and what we will do different, we are choosing to follow, which ultimately leads our children nowhere near where we intended to take them.  There is resistance when you swerve; it is harder when you swerve.  It is inconvenient; it is work; it is weird.

We’re swerving.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Gifts:
Christmas:
If you get Christmas gifts for our children, let’s do no more than four (of course you can get fewer).  Stick to the following list as to parameters for the gifts:
• Something You Want::
• Something You Need::
• Something to Wear::
• Something to Read::
(I stole this from Jen Hatmaker who probably stole it from someone else, but that link is a great resource)
Let us know if you need ideas in any of those areas.
The kids will get to give away anything that exceeds this.
We have a stocking for Eliot in which we let the kids pick stuff to put in there and we give away…so if you want (or just can’t stop at 4), buy stuff for Eliot’s stocking and we’ll give it away.

Birthdays:
Memories trump gifts:
In addition, for birthdays, we are asking that you design for them an EXPERIENCE with you instead of getting them gifts.  It could be a sleep-over, a special day with you, a man-day for Anders, a manicure for Hazel….you get the idea.  Spend time with them and tell them how unique and wonderfully made they are.  Tell them that a birthday is worth celebrating because God does good work.  If you must get them a gift, limit it to 1 gift please.

Investments trump broken toys:
Also, for birthdays we would ask that you consider taking the money that you would have spent on gifts and put it in their college fund instead or a fund you create for them if you want.

Lena:
For Lena, instead of a college fund, birthdays would be a great time to get her a piece of equipment or something for her in our house that we could otherwise not get.  Maybe we could all pull together for something for her if needed.
***** Also, we invite you to break all the rules for Lena’s upcoming 6th birthday because her first 5 birthdays were not celebrated, and at times such as these….rules are made to be broken.

Quality trumps Quantity:
With everything you purchase, we would ask that it break less and last more.   This is more expensive, we know.  But think this way…. 1 wooden train trumps 4 plastic things.  This is so that the kids can give their toys away when they are done with them.  Quarterly, Ginny asks the kids to pair down their stash so other children can have things to play with.  It’s nice if we can actually give things away rather than have to throw them away.

THE SANTA CLAUSE:
This is more a- just so you know- one.  It’s not something we’re asking you to memorize & not veer from or even be sure to say.  Rather, just know that this is what we’re saying and if you’re saying something completely different, then they’ll have to decide whose lying…which, in the end, will be you 🙂

We say that Santa is a story that reminds us about Saint Nick, and Saint Nick was a real person that gave gifts to those in need because of his love for Jesus.   We have a VeggieTale movie that tells of Saint Nick and you can learn more about him here if you need.

If pressed- and, of course we are by Hazel- we say that Santa is not real but that it is not our job to go and tell every child that fact.  It is something we keep to our self.  Other than that, anytime we’re talking a lot about Santa we figure it’s a good opportunity to remind them of what Christmas actually is….a time where we celebrate when God came to earth by being born as a baby named Jesus.

Advent::
Ginny is leading the kids through very simple, daily devotionals in order to help us anticipate the coming of Christ together.  (Ginny is adapting this resource which we learned of from Ann Voskamp).  That is where we desire to place the spotlight.  God became man and that changed everything.  And we should eat and drink and receive and give and celebrate together….because He is Emmanuel- God with us.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)

Again, more for us than you.
Thanks for loving us all so well.

_______________
Okay, we will return to #Johnin25 now.
Never too late to join in and start reading the corresponding chapter of John with the day of month.

11 Comments

  1. Cary on December 5, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This is so great…very in line with how we handle things at our home. I do wish the grandparents in my life would accept this as graciously as I know yours will.

  2. Dee-Anne on December 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I actually don’t celebrate any of the major holidays because of their pagen origins. I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to explain to my son why we don’t celebrate but why he still gets presents, etc from certain family members. I guess with honesty just as you are handling the Santa issue with Hazel. Here’s to your families being supportive!

  3. RLR on December 5, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I just sent an email to the Grandparents this evening, with very short lists. As I told them, it is very difficult to think of anything I want our kids to have/get because they still have so much (even after my paring down of their collections while they were at grand camp for a week this summer). It may seem scrooge-y, but we want for nothing and need for very little. What I want more than anything is money to go on a retreat with my ladies’ group from church. I’ve never been able to go (we’ve been at our church for about 7 years) – sometimes about finances and sometimes about child care – and this (well, next) year I’d really like to have the opportunity. I’m with you on “experiences” – oftentimes, they are worth way more than “stuff.”
    I really like what you said about birthdays. I think we don’t celebrate those enough around here – partly because of finances and partly because maybe I’ve just forgotten how. They have just become kind of low-key, and that makes me sad. Thank you for the reminder that birthdays are worth celebrating.

  4. Jessica Netherton on December 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    When I stumbled upon your blog many years ago, I had no clue who you were or that we went to the same church. I was strongly drawn to your writing because I felt like you were speaking to me. We have wrestled with similar emotions and questions about life and realizations about GOD. Maybe its because Ginny, you and I are all around the same age and that we have all know heartache, though different, that not many our age has not walked through. Or maybe don’t want to walk through it, but stay stuck in it. None of this may make sense, because I definitely DO NOT have the gift of writing that you OBVIOUSLY do. I think my gift is more in the listening department. I’m writing all the gibberish to say THANK YOU for using your gift. THANK YOU for following your urgings from the Spirit to share your heart and thoughts with us. THANK YOU for pushing us to reflect and tackle difficult ideas. THANK YOU for adding a sense of humor and being real. Life is hard. Life hurts. People hurt, but people don’t want others to know that they don’t have it all together. Unfortunately this reality keeps all people from truly realizing love, joy, comfort, and most importantly what the LORD has for each of us. The world says don’t be real, don’t let them know you aren’t perfect. I long for real. I long to love on people and have them love on me. I long for a community of being the hands and feet of Jesus not each other. So in the mean time I hold out that it will happen in my lifetime. I know I’ve went on a tangent, but I guess that’s what I get for commenting on a blog, which again isn’t something I do. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to read along on your (You and Ginny, I read her blog as well) life journey because it echos so much in my own journey. Oh by the way, I’m reading John. Sincerely, Jessica Netherton

    • Matt Mooney on December 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Jessica,
      Thanks so much for breaking your own rule of not commenting. You’re heart is clear within you words and is such an encouragement. So glad to know you guys and hope for more crossing paths in days ahead. Welcome to John! Glad your along. I’ll send you email updates when they’re ready.

  5. John Michael on December 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Well done, love it. We busted out the “we aren’t going to practice the Santa Claus ritual” to our parents last year. You would have thought we were turning agnostic or something! Lance and Grant roll with it all so it’s no biggie with the boys. Kora the 3 year old is a different animal! She is processing big time. The difference between Christmas 2 and Christmas 3 is tremendous. Your entry will equip us well!
    Another dynamic is that of the cousins! You have to respect your brother and sister’s ways of rearing their kids but stick to your beliefs at the same time. It’s tricky!!! Gotta love and embrace life’s challenges though!
    Also, when is Miss Lena’s 6th birthday? Just smiling thinking about that day.

  6. ann on December 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    For encouragement, my youngest child is 20. We never “DID” Santa Clause, we DID a St. Nick gift for someone – one that we prepared and left in secret. It was not someone in poverty usually, it was usually someone with WAY more than anyone could use. It was always the most fun thing of the holidays. The limited gifts were more than enough, our parents did think we were ruining our children’s childhood. We persevered. I asked my children this week if they “missed Santa” and the answer was “Why? What was there to miss?”
    So, if you are so moved, go for it, they will be fine, and you won’t ever look back. We did and do try to make Christmas about giving not getting. I never ask “What do you want for Christmas” I always ask – what are you giving for Christmas? Who is our St. Nick family?

    It’s a wonderful celebration of giving.

  7. Britney Nichole on December 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you for this! I’m sharing it now on facebook. I have a lot of girlfriends who have felt pressed and pressured by loving family who simply think we’re all crazy. 😉 But it’s true that our families are wonderful and just trying to show love in a fun way, so it is so helpful to have the heart of this idea expressed so well.

    How old is your Hazel? Our little girl Annika is 4 and we have been telling her that, while St. Nick is real and was a special guy, Santa is make-believe. We talk a lot about the nature of “make-believe” and how its something we pretend and make ourselves believe just for fun. We love imagination around here. 🙂 And when we are having fun in our make-believe, we would never want someone to say, “hey that’s not real!” and spoil our fun. So Annika understands that it would be mean and unnecessary to tell people that Santa isn’t real because we are all just having fun in pretending the story. She knows that some families don’t believe about Jesus so they may talk about Santa a lot more than we do, and she knows that the Jesus story is REAL, not make-believe, and so that’s why it’s what our family’s Christmas is all about.

    It’s so tricky deciphering all this culture stuff and fitting it well with our parenting!

    • Matt Mooney on December 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Hazel is four as well. Love the make believe explanation & H would be all over that. Thanks for the encouragement and idea as well.

  8. Wendi Wilcox Stanley on December 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you for this! So great! I so desire and hope I do similar things with and for Owen.

    Ginny, while I am reading this… I have a playlist going and guess what is playing… “I will not forget you”, by 100 Portraits… so fitting. I have so many wonderful memories of listening to this song with you, oh soooo many years ago!

    I hope you guys are doing well!

  9. Joy Primm on January 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Love love love this all. So great.

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