Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I am not a video game guy and we are not a gaming family.    The last gaming system our family had was when I was a kid- an atari old school system.  It’s been gone for decades and we haven’t had one since.  The closest thing we have come to is some old school atari sets I bought for youth grop and even one of those cool gaming cubes with all the old games pre-loaded you can now get just for nostalgia’s sake.

Part of this was just no desire from Shannon or I to get one.  But as parents of young kids, this has been intentional on our part as well.  We wanted our kids riding bikes, building forts, making stuff with blocks, playing with legos, and working their imaginations.  We felt that video games and tv and computer games and stuff would not help that.  So, we limit the amount of time that electronic stuff is allowed in our kids lives.

But, that doesn’t mean our kids have not found ways around it- especially in the gaming world.  They have them at our church.  They have a few games for the computer.  Sometimes they might be gone for hours at a time, we think off playing at the neighbors house…. only for us to discover it was playing hours of video games.  As a result, it was clear to us, we were going to have to make some decisions.

So this year, we decided that it’d be better to regulate it in our home than have them find new ways around it in other places.  So, we bought the most active gaming system we could find, the wii.   In fact, it was all we got for Christmas as a family.  We used some money we got from family towards a pretty sweet- nearly new flat screen TV.  We then asked the grand parents if they would only give them stuff for the wii too this year.  So, as a result, there were all kinds of kid rated games and controllers, Shannon got the wii fit, and I got chargers for the controllers and well..  it was a wii kinda Christmas.

We’re still working on what will be the post vacation rules for wii, since they are overly lax right now with rain outside and the “newness factor” on full throttle. 

I will say, I had tons of fun playing with my kids on Christmas day.  Before we bought it, I asked a bunch of my students what we absolutely must get, and they all said, “Mario Kart”.  So now we have 4 controllers and 4 wheels and we have been racing like crazy.  I confess that I laughed and crashed and heckled my children size opponents like I was a little kid myself.

At least one thing is for sure though:  the constant parental push back on the flood of pressure from our kids to get a gaming system over the last 5 years resulted in sheer elation with they discovered we had finally let them have their dreams come true.  To say they were elated is an understatement.  I’ll let the jig from Jake and the brother dogpile/hug pics below speak for themselves.  It was surely fun to give them something they so desperately wanted and did not need.  At some level, I think that’s when a gift, truly is a gift.


  1. Wii is so fun! We share the same sentiment and resisted the Playstation/Xbox and all other brain-death inducing game systems for years. In June ’08 both kids “promoted” (Shane from middle school, Jessica from elementary) so we got them a Wii (forcing them to continue playing nice together!!). Christmas was Wii Fit for the fam, Madden ’09 for Shane and High School Musical for Jess.
    And I agree too that giving a gift that they thought they would *NEVER* get is completely satisfying. There are too many socks given as fake gifts!

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