In a blog post that is sparking debate, a mother revealed why she and her husband took the extraordinary step of canceling Christmas for their kids.
On her blog, Over the Big Moon, Lisa Henderson writes:
Now before you all go crazy on me in the comments, let me explain. We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions. But, we have cancelled presents, Santa, and stockings. Their letters to Santa this year will be asking Santa to find someone who needs their presents more.
Here is why – John and I feel like we are fighting a very hard uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement. Our kids have been acting so ungrateful lately. They expect so much even when their behavior is extremely disrespectful. We gave them good warning, either it was time for their behavior to change or there would be consequences. We patiently worked with them for several months and guess what, very little changed. One day after a particularly bad display of entitlement John said, “we should just cancel Christmas.” And, so that’s what we did.
Instead we will be taking the money we would have spent on presents and put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others this season. We are trying to teach them the pleasure of giving rather than continuing to feed their childhood desire for more.
Henderson joined “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning, explaining that the family is still celebrating, but trying to instill in the children that Christmas is “not all about getting.”
She added that the couple’s decision is about teaching their kids that bad behavior has a consequence and to lessen their sense of entitlement.
“It doesn’t mean it has to be a negative consequence. We are having a blast turning this into a different kind of gift,” said Henderson.
Jeannie Cunnion, author of “Parenting the Wholehearted Child,” agreed that Christmas is a great opportunity to teach children about “giving and loving and sharing.” But she also disagreed that kids should be taught at Christmas time that they need to “try harder or be better” in order to be worthy of gifts.
“Christmas is about anticipating and celebrating the greatest gift that’s already been given and that’s the unconditional love of God and the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Cunnion, adding that gift-giving on Christmas should be tied into “the miracle” of Jesus’ birth.