The children have The Gimmies.
They think Santa will bring them 29 presents. Each.
Not sure where Abby came up with this number but evidently she and Grayson share the opinion that 5 or 6 six presents from Santa is insultingly meek. His sleigh is magic and bottomless and it's his job to bestow upon good girls and boys an obscene amount of Lalaloopsie dolls and Ninja Turtle figurines.
I can remember circling everything Cabbage Patch Kid in a Sears catalog when I was their age so they come by it naturally.
To extinguish The Gimmies and help them give of themselves to bring joy to others, we've employed a few strategies but none work so well as asking our kids to participate in Operation Christmas Child.
I learned about this from Anna.http://aninchofgray.blogspot.com/2012/11/if-shoe-box-fits.html
She and her family have been doing this for years and I promise you that once you read any of her posts, you will be scraping the bottom of your closets in search of shoe boxes too. (But you don't have to, you can use plastic ones, order them online or ask your local church where to pick them up.)
We have been excited to participate this year but I had no idea how psyched the kids would get. All I had to say was that we would be shopping for kids who might not get a visit from Santa this year.
A woeful set of eyes stared back at me appalled that such sacrilege existed.
"No visit from Santa," I answered back wondering what kind of pickle I got myself in. How am I to explain why or how Santa chooses some cities and not others, spoils some continents and neglects the rest.
Thankfully, the kids never asked. Instead, they got busy making lists of things they want to buy with their birthday money, their allowance money, my Starbuck's money, Andy's Dunkin Donut's money.
The Gimmies just did a U-Turn and headed back at us but it's ok.
Because today we will be heading out to purchase things for six year old boys and four year old girls who will be opening their shoe boxes this Christmas to find presents and a homemade Christmas ornament, painted especially for them.
Maybe then they will know that Santa has not forgotten them after all.
Maybe now my kids will feel it's just as important to give 29 presents as it is to receive them.