Christmas is canceled at the Henderson house this year.
Mother Lisa Henderson wrote in a “Today” article yesterday that instead of her children walking into a room full of presents on Christmas morning, they’ll be seeing a few pieces of candy at best. She insists the decision has nothing to do with a lack of Christmas spirit, though.
“My husband, John, and I feel like we are fighting an uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement,” Henderson writes in her article. “They expect so much even when their behavior is disrespectful. We gave them good warning: They needed to change their behavior 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, we did.”
Instead of giving their children gifts, the Henderson’s will spend their holiday funds on gifts and service projects for children in need. Even without presents, Henderson insists Christmas morning in her house will still be special.
“We will be taking the money we would have spent on presents and put it toward service projects and gifts for others,” she writes. “We are trying to teach them the pleasure of giving rather than continuing to feed their childhood desire for more.”
Henderson says her children are taking the move in stride.
“Everyone should know that my kids are in no way hurting for things,” she writes. “It’s not like I took Christmas away from Tiny Tim. They have good clothes, shoes and so many toys they can’t keep their playroom clean. They have reacted to the no-Santa news by making gifts for each other. They are learning exactly what we wanted them to learn, not moping around feeling sorry for themselves.”
Does Henderson regret her decision? Not at all.
“While this may not be the best choice for everyone, it feels right for our family right now,” she says. “We really want Christmas to be remembered for the right reasons and to keep the focus on the Savior and the feeling of giving. That is the true essence of Christmas.”