Operation Christmas Child, Esh Style

12 11 2007

I took the girls to Wal-Mart on Friday with clear instructions about how we are not shopping for ourselves, we are buying gifts for  little girls in other parts of the world who don’t have any Christmas presents.  I lectured on the importance of giving gifts to other people, not being selfish, thinking of others first, etc.  The girls were very excited about it at first.  Reality set in when I told them, “NO!    YOU CAN’T BUY ONE FOR YOURSELF AND ONE FOR THE LITTLE GIRLS” for the millionth time.  This little mother-daughter shopping trip turned into an all out fiasco in which I learned many lessons about the depravity of human nature, self-centeredness, and discontentment.  In a nutshell:  my kids are selfish.

Here’s a small sample of our conversation in the store:

L:  Mommy, do you think that little girl will like this?

M:  yes, Lydia, I think that’s a great idea.

B:  Can we get one for the little girl and one for ourselves?

M:  No.  Remember, we’re not shopping for ourselves today.

B:  I have to go potty.

L:  Mommy, how about a Barbie?

M:  A Barbie is too big for our box and then we couldn’t fit in anything else.

B:  So how about we just get the Barbie for ourselves and something else for the little girl.

M (Patience already wearing thin): Bryn, do I need to explain this to you again?

L:  Mommy, can I teach you a song?

M:  Sure.

B:  Mommy, how about some markers.  I think that little girl will really like markers.

M:  Great idea.  Let’s go find some markers.

L:  Mommy, did you like that song?

M:  Uhhuh.

B:  Mommy, when we find some markers do you think we can get some new ones for us too?

L:  Mommy, what was your favorite part of that song?

B:  Mommy, I have to go potty really bad.

M:  Girls, focus, what kind of markers do you want to put in your box?

B:  Mommy, I’ve never seen markers like this before.  Can we get some of these for us and maybe a new coloring book too?

M:  Girls!!!  Pick some markers and make it fast.

B:  Mommy, I can’t hold it much longer.

M (Desperation starting to set in): How about if I just pick the markers and notebooks so we can get home and see Daddy.

I’ll end the conversation there. . .you can kinda see how successful that little shopping expedition was.  It would have been much more efficient if I had just shopped by myself and then let them pack the shoeboxes.  I guess I’ll chalk that up to a lesson learned.

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4 responses

12 11 2007
leichtyk

Do you remember any part of Lydia’s song? Great story – so does that mean you think it’s a bad idea to take the girls shopping with us on Black Friday? Just curious.

13 11 2007
Rhonda

ah yes. well, just so you know, your kids aren’t the only ones that are selfish little humans. i’ve got 4 right here that would give them a run for their money most days. it will get better someday, right?

17 11 2007
Linda

Wonderful stories – you have your mother’s knack of story telling. Have enjoyed the stories and the pictures –

love you,
Your favorite Burnett Aunt

5 01 2008
jeff stoltzfus

kids are great…. hmmm think ill go get myself another one of those 🙂

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