Utah Mom Who Canceled Christmas For Her Spoiled Kids Is Officially Every Parent’s Hero
So many parents threaten to take away Christmas from their kids and repeat shrilly over and over that “SANTA (or the Elf) IS WATCHING, SO CUT IT OUT!” I can safely say that very few, if any, follow through with these empty threats. That makes it very impressive that Utah mom Lisa Henderson actually did it. She canceled Christmas. She decided her children were entitled and not grateful enough so she did away with the presents and Santa and told the kids to write letters to Santa telling him to give their gifts to kids who really need them. I think this is absolutely amazing.
From West Bloomfield Patch:
Henderson, said she and her husband, John, felt as though they were fighting an uphill battle with their kids.
“Our kids have been acting so ungrateful lately,” she wrote. “They expect so much even when their behavior is extremely disrespectful. We gave them good warning, either it was time for their behavior to change or there would be consequences.
“We patiently worked with them for several months and guess what, very little changed. One day after a particularly bad display of entitlement John said, ‘We should just cancel Christmas.’ And, so that’s what we did.”
Wow. This is awe-inspiring to me. As much as I do not let my kids be in charge, I do so enjoy being the “fun” parent and the idea of taking away their Christmas gifts breaks my heart. Luckily, they are just garden-variety naughty and actually, pretty grateful for what they have so I will hopefully not ever have to do this. However, if it were warranted, I am not sure I would have the balls. That is a big move, to take away something a child looks forward to all year long. I’m sure it is making a huge impression on these kids and I doubt it will ever have to happen again.
The best part of this story is that the Henderson family are not merely taking away their kids’ presents, they are also giving back. Their kids are learning a valuable lesson and people in need will benefit because of it:
The family will instead donate the money they would have spent on Christmas presents for their children to service groups that provide gifts to kids living on the economic margins of society and selflessly help in other ways.
“We are trying to teach them the pleasure of giving rather than continuing to feed their childhood desire for more,” she wrote.
I love this so much. As I sit here trying to drum up gift ideas for my kids for our many relatives, I think of how they truly need nothing. If not for the fact that they are well-behaved and for the rest of the year, not at all spoiled, I would tell our families to donate to charity instead. Like my colleague Maria Guido said yesterday, most kids today have WAY too many toys:
“When I was a kid we got one big toy each year at Christmas, and a few little things from relatives. And when I say “big toy” – I don’t mean big as in physically big or expensive. I mean we were allowed to put a couple things on a list that we really wanted, and were told to only expect one. And we were thrilled to get it. For me, it was usually some kind of Barbie. I never had toys spilling out of my room as a child — and I was perfectly happy.”
I find the same to be true- kids are generally expecting a lot more these days than when we were kids. How can they truly appreciate anything when they have so much? I love the example the Henderson family is setting with their bold move to put a stop to it when their kids had lost sight of the true meaning of the season. I hope that if my kids ever head down that path, I will remember this story and have the courage to do what must be done.