I ran errands this week. It was mid-day and I was hopeful it wouldn’t be nuts. It was nuts. I didn’t even buy a single Christmas gift.. but all the same I felt the Christmas stress. The carts full of crap, the lines of impatient people, and oh my- the food!
I love the holiday. I hate the consumerism. I saw this on Facebook the other day and said YES. I’ve posted it in my kitchen window and plan to read through it when social media tells me I’m not doing enough this Christmas.
As corny as the saying goes “remember the reason for the season”.
We do we strive to. Here are a couple ways we have kept things minimal during the holiday season as a family..
-We give time rather than a lot of presents. We make sure to incorporate special holiday activities as a family that require little money, but time. As the kids get older we’re hoping that this is more hands on (like volunteering at a shelter or serving a meal on Christmas Eve). For now we spend time doing fun family things: touring Christmas lights, making gingerbread houses, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, going to our church Christmas Eve service, sending shoe boxes to children that have so so much less than we do. Speaking of presents- we get each of our kids one present and since santa does nothing.. we also fill their stockings. You’re welcome, children. Ryan and I don’t exchange gifts. For our extended families we’ve done slightly different things over the years but have kept it simple, home-made, or often give to an organization (in honor of that person) rather than buying them a present.
-We send Christmas cards. I love writing. I love pretty notes and paper, I love a good pen, I love getting mail (especially packages), and I love photography. To not send a Christmas card almost feels like a sin..to me. I see it as another excuse to send love through the mail system. So each year we buy 50 cards or family pictures and send them to family and friends until we run out.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we walk out this Christian life. I mentioned it here. If we understand and have experienced the most amazing gift ever given (in the birth of Jesus), how are we telling that story? Because its one thing to reign in the consumerism to “remember the reason for the season“- but what if remembering that reason caused us to live this out so differently that everything pointed back to HIM and the gift HE gave us?
Am I doing enough this Christmas? No, I’m not.