Friday, March 12, 2010

Rainbows, hugs and pink balloons

One of my favourite magazines sends out weekly emails of stories they are featuring.
This one, about celebrating birthdays in simple and meaningful ways arrived in my inbox today. It's timely as our family heads into birthday season and I am listening closely to my kids real wishes and trying to drown out the idea that birthdays need to be equated with "buy, buy buy".  My friend Emma has a gift for creating special celebrations for her family birthdays,with hand madegifts and beautiful gestures.

I remember one year when he was about 4 Colin wanted a rainbow and a hug for Christmas. Santa obliged with a rainbow playsilk from the Waldorf school store, and a beautiful book about hugs. He could not have been happier.

Even among mindful parents I know we can use the reminder that what children need is for us to buy less and be with them more.

What is a birthday? It is an opportunity to celebrate the life and the development of a person. Do my children need to see a table covered with a pile of wrapped toys in order to know that their family and friends are delighted and honored that they share this lifetime with us? Somewhere in our consumer culture, we have confused “presents,” material items, with expressions of love and gratitude.


brenna said...

I love this! Last year, the cloth bag filled with pink balloons was as big of a birthday hit as the tricycle. This year, D had already begun requesting a scooter like the neighborhood "big kids" for her 3rd birthday, but when 'Ua laughingly suggested a basket of apples instead, she nodded seriously and agreed that THAT would be a wonderful present. Kids delight in such simple things if we let them!

Andrea said...

Hey! I just found your blog and think it's fantastic! I have been working on raising global citizens myself and was thrilled to find your blog! I hope you will keep posting, thanks for your insights!