First World Problems

Posted on | August 29, 2012 | 9 Comments

Early on this past weekend lightning stuck in our next door neighbor’s backyard. Everyone is fine! Nothing caught fire! Yay!

Except it did fry our cable modem.

No Internet! FOR DAYS AND DAYS!! We were reminded why we hold on to all 7 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD even though they’re all available on streaming Netflix. Also Tinker Bell movies.

Last night at dinner Piper asks us “Is it Christmas yet? Cuz I like presents. And cookies.”

We’ve been talking for several years about drastically changing our holiday gifting strategy but haven’t followed through. I think this is a good year to lean on service to others. I know it will be hard for me not to go overboard with gifts for Piper. I want to start thinking very consciously about that and coming up with a clear plan for how we can do things differently this year.

We’ve been working on painting the living room, and we ran out of paint but it is 3 days until pay day and we are working on our fiscal discipline around here. I am practicing my patience and willing myself to do other things, even though the room is only half painted and it drives me crazy to think about.

Now that I have internet again I’m making the rounds of my favorite blogs, checking in with what my friends are doing. Kids are going off to school. Homes are being bought and sold. Crafts and tutorials are being posted. Andmy friend Allison is in Sri Lanka right now on a trip with World Vision. She got to meet her sponsored child.

There are children without clean water. Clothing. Food. School.

Today I have internet access. Saturday I’ll have paint.

I’m worried about giving my child too much.

First World Problems, indeed.

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9 Responses to “First World Problems”

  1. Kristen
    August 29th, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    I recommend to you a book that I just read, called 7: An Experimental Mutuny Against Excess. The author is Jen Hatmaker. It’s a really fast read but a long process; the implications are still permeating my layers. I’ll preface that the author is quite different from you and I, but I still think she has something valuable to say.

    Also: partially out of financial necessity (hello 5 kids!) and mostly out of disgust with ourselves, last year each kid’s Christmas consisted of something they want, something to read, something to wear, and something they need (plus a Santa gift). We really had to edit, edit, edit – but I don’t think we could go back.

  2. TheNextMartha
    August 29th, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    It’s amazing that even 9 months later there are toys that my kids just don’t play with from xmas. I agree. I’d love a new way of doing it too without losing some of the magic.

  3. molly
    August 29th, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    I’ve been wanting to change our gift strategy for Christmas for a long time too!

  4. Mae
    August 29th, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    Kristen I’m actually reading 7 right now! I’m about halfway through and loving it.

  5. Veronica
    August 30th, 2012 @ 2:22 am

    Its such a pleasure to know you. This post is wonderful. Youll do fine because youre aware.

  6. AllisonO of O My Family
    August 30th, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    You should know that while I met my sponsored child two days ago, I still totally get my panties in a wad over crappy internet connections. (She says from the lobby of a hotel in a third world country with spotty WiFi.) Nothing but grace, friend. xoxo

  7. Miranda
    September 2nd, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    I have friends who do ONLY three presents. ONLY. Because that’s all Jesus got and they don’t want to “spoil” their son. (I don’t necessarily agree with her belief on spoiling, thus the quotes.)

    But. What we’ve done for Joshua is set a per-parent spending limit + a “Santa” gift. We each get $50 to buy Joshua gifts. 1, 3, 5, whatever. We cannot go over the limit. This usually results in about 6 gifts under the tree. It may not always work, but it works for now.

  8. Leilani
    September 6th, 2012 @ 6:46 am

    I have a hard time not spoiling my girls, as I grew up not getting presents for Christmas because our parents couldn’t afford to buy us anything. My only Christmas presents were a king-sized candy bar from my aunt every year, and as a child it was hard to hear about all the great Christmas presents everyone got after we’d return to school from winter break. I would always lie and say i got more than I did because I was embarrassed.

  9. Happy Happy. Thankful Thankful. : Life's Candy
    November 27th, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    […] Tuesday? We will be, once I manage to climb out of this cup of coffee. Remember how I talked about being more mindful of the things we give our child? I’ve been reviewing our list the last few days, including […]

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