I hadn’t heard of a Hatchimal until recently. The quirky little animal inside of an egg toy that apparently is all the rage this holiday season. They are of course, out of stock at the average store and causing families to lose their collective minds. Parents are writing fake I.O.U. letters from Santa to their children explaining the tragic situation.
My first reaction (hopefully the reaction of all rational/sane people), is to laugh at the absurdity of all this. I shudder at the silliness of our culture, running after the latest goodies that we all know by Valentines day will be discarded in someones closet, under a pile of other objects they just HAD TO HAVE.
It’s easy to poke fun at it, until I remember my ten year old self at Christmastime, ready to sell all my worldly goods to anyone who could procure me the Cabbage Patch doll with the cornsilk hair. Then there was the pink and purple ten-speed. Also the anatomically correct baby doll whose skin smelled like baby powder and came with it’s own push-buggy.
As a child, I remember so well that longing. As parents we try and fulfill those desires in our children’s hearts because there’s a part of us that remembers how it feels to be so genuinely excited about something.
We all have our ‘Hatchimals’.
I walked through someones home yesterday that was the very picture and definition of a Christmas wonderland. The decorations were professional-level gorgeous. Nothing was out of place. The entire home looked like a perfect magazine spread of holiday cheer.
Where was this woman’s laundry? Do people actually get laundry done and put away? I can’t currently see the floor of my laundry room.
How did the whole place smell like freshly baked cookies? No matter how many Febreeze evergreen candles I light, the house usually just smells like dog.
December is kind of a double-edged sword in our culture; we are surrounded by perfection and beauty but never quite able to keep up on it all. Ask anyone who has ever walked by the Pottery Barn window at the mall. Or gazed at the Williams-Sonoma demo Christmas table. Yikes.
If we are culture-driven, our desires are never fulfilled, our expectations are never met. Someone will always do it better. Someone will always have a prettier looking tree, fancier table setting or better smelling house.
Advent is a season of longing, but we have been conditioned to never feel such things. We scratch the itch. Longing makes us uncomfortable. Imperfection makes us squirm. We forget our gift is has already come and promises to come again. Part of the beauty of December for believers is that we don’t have to jump at every trend and spend every last dime in order to be fulfilled. We are created to feel this desire. Nothing in the world will ever fulfill it save for Jesus.
We celebrate a Father who knows how to give good and perfect gifts to His children. Lasting gifts of eternity. How much then should we desire to share that with our own children and friends? Teach the kids it’s ok to want and desire things, but put those things in perspective. Show them how to long after Jesus and actually be fulfilled.
“Ultimately, there is something profoundly Christmas-like about not having everything the way you want. The entire holiday exists because two parents could not even find a roof under which to have a baby. Consider the absurdity of the fact that, thousands of years later, people are celebrating that holiday by apologizing to children because a Hatchimal could not be procured.” Ashley E. McGuire, Acculturated Magazine