“Nothing? How about the new ______?”
“Maybe you’d like a ______?”
“No thank you.”
Jonas has engaged in countless conversations like this since Thanksgiving.
Mamaw, Grandma Jane, Grandpa Mike, Aunt Megan, Jason and I…we have no idea what to get the boy for Christmas because his standard answer is “nothing.”
I was sure he was just being difficult. He’s been known to be difficult from time to time.
“You realize that if you keep telling people ‘nothing’ when they ask you what you’d like for Christmas, then you’ll probably get ‘nothing’ or you’ll get things you didn’t ask for…” I reasoned with him.
“I don’t want anything! I promise!”
See, I’m cool with him not wanting gifts, and I understand him not wanting to ask for things, but I know that his ‘people’ love to buy him gifts. And I also know that him not getting gifts when the other kids around him are getting gifts might be the recipe for a grumpy sixth-grader in the end.
So Sunday morning, he and I were talking about Christmas and commercialism and he said, “I don’t want gifts or toys because I know that there are a lot of kids who won’t get anything and that makes me feel sad. I don’t know how me not getting gifts really helps them, but I don’t want presents if they don’t get presents.”
Ah. Silly me. I just figured he was being difficult and so I never even explored this option with him. I never even considered it’s because he was aware of bigger issues and that he wasn’t being selfish or only thinking about himself. That’s a parenting fail on my part.
So we talked about ways that he could ask his gift givers to partner with him in being a solution to the problem–at least for one or two people who are going without. He talked to his Mamaw about giving gifts to other kids instead of him. I told Aunt Megan that if she knows a kid at her school that will go without Christmas, Jonas would like his gift to go to that child. I’m thinking that my gift to him will be a Christmas dinner for a family connected to a local outreach in town.
I grateful for his generous heart and the example he’s giving our family and others around him.