It’s 1983ish, and all I want is the coveted Cabbage Patch Kid. Remember those outlandish dolls with each one signed by Xavier Roberts….on their hineys no less? Such a doll was considered a luxury in our house, and on a pastor’s salary, we didn’t buy luxuries. I’ll never forget the Christmas I asked for the Cabbage Patch Kid. I woke up in the middle of the night to get a head’s up on what awaited me that morning. (My mom still displayed my gifts as if from Santa….even after I discovered his non-existence.) The doll I found was an imposter – a less expensive version of the ridiculously priced doll. I remember the feeling of disappointment. However, I also remember going back to bed and mustering up the gusto to still put on a happy and grateful face the next morning. And, I did.
You see, even at a young age I had an understanding of gratitude. And, not receiving this gift made me appreciate my parents even more. They could not provide the Cabbage Patch, but they still made sure I didn’t lack.
I can’t help but wonder if I am instilling that same sense of gratitude and appreciation in my own children for not only things, but for those who give them. It’s a hard line. While Kris and I have the capabilities to provide such luxuries to our children, should we? Well, sure. But, how much is too much? It’s very tough as parents to draw that line.
I am thankful for the opportunities to give to John Henry and Anna. However, I hope that the gifts they receive go beyond material possessions. I hope they receive the gift of gratitude, the gift of compassion, the gift of mercy, the gift of faith, the gift of hope, and the gift of love….above all else.
And, to my parents who never knew (until now) of that brief disappointment, thank you. That Christmas, you gave me more than you know. For that, I am truly grateful.
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:11