In the spirit of the season, in 2006, when Gavin was a baby, Shawn and I decided to create a tradition that would mean something during the Christmas season. In an effort to teach our kids about giving and serving (which Jesus is the example of the Ultimate Gift and Service) we decided we would buy four bottles of sparkling cider each year and give them to people we saw serving, sacrificing and giving to others. We attach a small note, to let them know of our tradition and letting them know they are appreciated and noticed. We try to pick new people each year and they aren't always people who have served us directly, but just people we know are sharing their lives and what they have. I love this tradition and I get very excited each year to pick our people, load up and go out.
Anyway...this year, I was super excited because Gavin is 3 and I thought he would love this. He loves to give and he loves people. Apparently, he doesn't love it as much when you take him away from his trains to go. Or when you make him go potty before we load up the van. Or when he can't stay at the people's house and play. Oh the drama.
In an effort to make a long story short, a day that was supposed to be teaching our son about giving to others was actually spent in the van hearing him whine about how much he doesn't want to (as in a constant high pitched monologue of everything that he was unhappy about...from the music choice to Brayden looking at him.) No joke. The irony was intense, as was my headache. By the end Brayden had joined in and I had begun to feed them M&Ms I had, one by one to try and keep their mouths shut.
Finally, after we finished lunch (another part of the tradition is to go out to eat afterwards and talk about what we did...not that the kids had earned it, but mom and dad sure had) we loaded up the van once more and Gavin pipes up, "Mom, do we have more cider?"
"No Gav, we're all done."
"Oh, but I want to go out with more cider."
I looked at Shawn about ready to explode...WHAT!?! Are you kidding?
Shawn: "Gav, we're all done until next year."
Shawn: "Another magical Christmas moment."
Holly under her breath to Shawn: "Please tell me there will be a day where our kids will look back and think how cool this was and what a fun family tradition it was. Please."
Shawn: "They will."
I think what he didn't say is that we'd probably be dead.
Upon reflection, I guess that might be okay. If at any point my kids get it, then it was worth it. I can think of quite a few things I whined my way through that I am quite thankful for now (yes mom, I do like knowing how to change my sheets and clean a bathroom...still don't like doing it, but I am glad I can). And maybe someday...though it may be years down the road, we will all have a bottle of cider for someone, all happily sing our carols and all be grateful for the opportunity to honor those who inspire us. Until then, I will dream the dream and do my best to live it...until my kids do too.