All of this may have been kept just a family legend, meant to live on as "that awful year Mom and Dad canceled Christmas," if not for the fact that Lisa Henderson is a popular blogger and recently shared the decision with readers. Soon after, it all caught on like wildfire.
"John and I feel like we are fighting a very hard uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement," explained Henderson on her blog, Over The Big Moon. "It is one of the biggest struggles as a parent these days in middle-class America. Our kids have been acting so ungrateful lately. ... John said, 'We should just cancel Christmas.' And, so that’s what we did."
Oh, the garland will still be hung, and the tree will still be lit. But when it comes to waking up insanely early and rushing downstairs to behold a massive toy pile ... well, the Henderson kids can just kiss that sweet dream goodbye this year. Instead, they money that would normally be put towards their gifts will be going towards "service projects," according to their parents. The idea is to teach each kid about "the pleasure of giving" (while they think long and hard about hard about how they behaved this year).
Truth be told, the Henderson kids weren't exactly angels this year. And they'll be the first to admit it.
When mom Lisa finally threw down the "no Christmas" gauntlet, the boys "cried pretty hard," as you might imagine.
Still, it hasn't all been a Christmas nightmare for the Henderson kids. According to Lisa, it's actually brought them closer together as a family. Speaking with Fox News, Lisa said her kids have been "having a blast turning this into a different kind of gift." So far, they've held a pretty successful clothing drive, and shipped boxes of clothes and candy to a village in the Philippines that was strongly affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
In fact, the whole experience has just made them want to do more for others. They were "excited and kept wanting to give more and more," Lisa recently wrote on her blog.
But despite all the positives that have come from canceling Christmas, the Hendersons haven't been without their fair share of critics. Recently, Lisa posted the following message after receiving a ton of backlash:
"I just wanted to clarify a couple of things. First, my kids are in no way hurting for things ... They have reacted by making gifts for each other and sneaking them into each other's stockings. They are learning exactly what we wanted them to learn, because they are not moping around feeling sorry for themselves. They are thinking of others.
The second thing I wanted to clarify is why I wrote this post. Some people seem to think I wrote this for attention. Ummm, the attention you get from posts like this is not good and actually extremely difficult to handle. ... The reason I wrote this post is I want to empower parents to feel like it’s OK to take a stand. ... I wanted to share what we are doing, so any parents that feel they are struggling with the same issues in their home can see what others are doing and get ideas for their family. My intention is to help support other parents and to raise amazing kids."