I will never forget a conversation I had with my daughter when she was getting ready to start kindergarten. We were going over the preparations we had to make when, out of the blue, she said we had to stop at U-Haul.
Puzzled, I asked her, “Why do we have to go to U-Haul?”
She answered, “To get a trailer to take all my toys to school.”
We were living in a material world, and little Gabriella was definitely a Material Girl. And thus I was faced with another motherhood challenge — convincing my daughter that materialism was not the be-all and end-all of life.
Though this comment caught me off-guard, I should not have been surprised. After all, when I was a little girl, I liked to brag to my great aunt, Sister Celestia, about all the dolls my sister and I had collected. As I recall, I was met with silence.
One Christmas, I complained vehemently to my mother when Santa brought “only” three toys for me. No matter that one of the toys was a pinball machine about my size. It was quantity, not quality, that I was looking for.
The rude manner in which I chastised my mother still haunts me. Rather than feeling better after I had unleashed my bitter disappointment, I felt miserable. I knew, deep in my 10-year-old heart, that I had been wrong and that I had caused my mother pain.
As it turned out, that Christmas was a breakthrough moment for me. I decided to ditch materialism and embrace the simple pleasures of life. Things no longer made me happy — people did. I found treasure in my sister’s laugh, my friends’ support, and my parents’ love.
I abandoned my lust for things and channeled my energy into more satisfying pursuits. While I was certainly far from perfect, I had overcome the struggle against materialism — and won.
I learned that love cannot be bought, and that faith in Christ was a treasure beyond all measure. And, somehow, my daughter made it through kindergarten without a trailer-ful of toys.
How about you — are there some toys in your life which you can give away for a greater good?
Copyright 2018 Maria V. Gallagher