Friday, December 13, 2013

What do Catholic Moms really want for Christmas?

Donna-Marie (in dress on right)
with her mother
and 4 of her 7 siblings
Moms are always thinking of others—not so much themselves. After all, that need to nurture and to give is pretty much innate. Once a woman becomes pregnant, she no longer thinks only for herself or for her husband. She now has a little life inside of her, which totally depends on her for survival. Or, the mom opening her heart to a child through adoption becomes totally focused on the care of another. And, of course, in time, the expectant mother gives birth and is compelled to immediately focus on her baby’s needs and later on her growing children.
         I have asked more than fifty Catholic moms what is at the very top of their Christmas wish list this year. You might be surprised to find out what they really want.
     Yes, it’s true that deep down we all want peace on earth and goodwill towards men. But, there are a few tangible things that would be nice for moms too. Yet, by and large, many Catholic moms are expressing that they would love to receive a gift of time.
     Here are some of the gifts that Catholic moms are wishing for (in no particular order). Keep in mind that I asked the moms to dream big!

A mother’s ring
A retreat (several hoped for this)
Gift cards for groceries (this mom is on maternity leave)
Peace in my home
Gift cards (many want this)
Catholic and Christian books
Gift cards to craft stores
That my children will always know how much I desired each and every one of them and how much I love them
Spa day or massage
A new pair of boots
Disneyland tickets
A shopping spree
The kitchen painted
Something to benefit the WHOLE family
New laptop
A maid
A massage (her shoulders hurt from caring for her baby)
A chef
New clothes
A day and night off from caring for the kids
Diaper bag
Catholic stationary
A nap (almost every mom wants this!)
Night away with my husband (many moms long for this)
Meals delivered
Gift card for make up
Weekend away with husband
Money (many wished for this for reasons to better their homeschooling environment or to keep their home safer or warmer)
Infinity scarf
Simple earrings
Money for homeschooling projects
Someone to watch the kids so I can take a nap or clean (many wish for this)
Date night with husband (very popular wish!)
Time to clean
A recording of Handel’s Messiah
A Mani Pedi
A prenatal massage
Winter boots
Time to pray at church
The whole world to remember the reason for the season
Good health
A bigger car
A tummy tuck (just kidding, but wishing!)
New cardigan sweater to stay warm when I nurse my baby
Kitchen aid mixer
Medical bills paid
IPod touch
Bedroom set
Diamond earrings
Robot floor cleaner
Dress boots
Sleep (many moms wished for this!)
Kids that behave
Reconciliation in relationships in my family
Our Eucharistic Lord to reign in the hearts of all men
Peace and love of God in my family
New carpet
New windows
Warmer home
Cocktail ring
Soda stream
A home altar
A new outfit
A mom’s retreat (many wished for this)
To get my wedding ring fixed
To be grateful for whatever I receive
An indoor gym for the kids
A weekend alone to purge my house
Money or supplies to build a chapel/library
The laundry to be done
A clean house (almost every Mom wants this!)
A clean van
A kitchen Aid standing mixer
A day off
Hobby supplies
Meaningful time to spend with my family

     Many moms hope for the gift of time--time to be with their family, time to keep the house in order or to spend alone with their husband. Moms want a little respite. They are tired and usually more or less worn out trying to do all that is required of them.
     Most of us, more often than not feel pretty much out of time. We are typically rushing from one activity to another trying to get our “to-do” lists checked off and it might seem impossible to give away any of our time. But, perhaps time would be the most meaningful gift to “part with” this year. It might just well be a beautiful surprise to the recipient as well as a genuine blessing for us too when we give of ourselves.
     Consider how you might gift someone with your time. Perhaps you can write them a card (or even wrap a gift box) with a gift of time inside.   
     For instance:
     “I’d love to give you 3 hours of babysitting so you can go out and get a Mani Pedi” (and stick a gift certificate to a salon in the card).
     Or, “I’d love to give you 3 hours of babysitting so you can go out to the church and spend some alone time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament."
     Or, “I’d love to give you a home cooked meal so you can focus on watching a movie or playing a game with your family instead of cooking one night.” You can cook the meal at their home or cook it at your house and deliver it. This is a nice gift for a family with a little baby or one who might be dealing with some health challenges.
     Or, “I’d love to gift you with a night away with your husband (or a “night in” which won’t cost them anything) and I’ll watch the kids at my house.”
     Or, “I’d love to give you a gift of dinner out with your husband and I’ll watch the kids.” And, place a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant inside the card or gift box.
     Or, "I'd love to gift you with my help cleaning the house (or a room, or the refrigerator, the car, etc.) and watching the kids too so you can take a nap." This is a wonderful gift for a new mother.
     These are just simple ideas. But the sky is the limit. Take some time to think of creative gifts that will include your gift of time.
     Have fun pondering ideas and be blessed!

Advent blessings to you and yours,

Donna- Marie

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