Responsible parents teach their children skills to flourish as adults. I believe those skills include such things as showing appreciation, doing selfless random acts of kindness, not acting entitled. At a certain age, kids either get it or they don't and no amount of good parenting can change that. We set our children up for success and if they utilize the positive lessons they have been taught, they will succeed and if not, we can't beat ourselves up for it. I don't know any parent that doesn't want better for their children than they had. I certainly know I do! The problem then becomes, when have we done enough and when have we done too much? I think the latter is when you see signs of ungratefulness and entitlement. I remember when I was 16 and all the weekends I spent babysitting to save $. I wanted Jordach and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans but there was no way my parents were going to buy them. So, I had to save my $ and buy them myself. They took us clothes shopping 1-2 times a year and none in between. If we wanted something other than those times, that was up to us to figure out how we could buy it. That's just how it was and I think I'm a better person for it! I think I need to get back to that. Maybe I appreciated things more because there was less to appreciate so that made it all the more valuable.
I remember 1 Christmas in particular. My brother Joe went snooping for our Christmas gifts. He found them stashed in my parents closet. He called me upstairs (I never went upstairs and wasn't allowed since it was my parents bedroom and brothers up there) and showed me 1 present which had a note on it that said "to Janet but you must share with Joe"! It was my very own stereo! It had a turntable and 2 cassette decks! I was so excited even if I had to share! (I never did though ;). Now I'm 44 and I still remember that Christmas when I was 13! Ya know why? Because that's just how much I appreciated it! I think it gives a whole new meaning to "less is more".
So I think this year will be a sparse Christmas. I think we will be doing something different as in doing something for someone else. A random act if kindness. Isn't that what the season is all about anyway? Maybe that will be remembered more because I doubt a pair of jeans or shoes would be as memorable.