We’ve said it for years..
“Is Christmas really anything more to us than presents? Do our children understand?”
We talk of doing things differently, but each year finds us bustling around in the drizzle, searching frantically for something–anything–because we have to have a certain amount of presents for the children. They’ll be disappointed, won’t they? But we barely have room for the things we have now! Getting rid of perfectly good things to replace them by more things that will be replaced by more things next year.
And I LOVE giving things to my children! And my family. I love gifts and so this all seems so hard and confusing. I know one thing in my heart and I feel this enormous pressure (and desire) to do another.
And for the record, we spend VERY little, compared to the average family, on Christmas gifts. Which justifies my gift-giving because I can find a lot for a little!
Is there anyone else who struggles with this?
So, this year we’ve decided, inspired by the Voskamps‘ commitment (thank you, Ann!) to tangibly answer their heart’s questions, to really do something different.
Not AS different as they’ve chosen, not this year, but a beginning to refocus and reclaim Christmas as a holiday for gratefulness, love and reflection on what Jesus means to us.
“But Mom…. if we get wrapped presents for our birthdays, real sacrifices from people who love us — they gave up other things to give something to us — then why don’t we do that for Jesus’ birthday?”
“Why don’t we give up things so we can give to Jesus for His birthday?”
Is it always this way, that a little child will lead them?
He was four or five that year, I can’t remember. I just know that now he’s fifteen and I stepped out into the light and we’ve done all the Christmases since his way, giving away. It’s not at all wrong to do it differently, but just for us… all the Christmas gifts — gifts for the Christ Child.”
Read all of “Christmas: Thinking About Whose Birthday It Is”
We will still bestow small gifts on the ones we love…but we hope to move the focus and help our children begin to develop a love for giving to Jesus by giving to the least of these. We want to teach them that a small sacrifice for someone less fortunate is better than having so much stuff you don’t know what to do with it. We want to make it a habit of looking outside of ourselves, not just at Christmas.
We want to embrace gratitude as a greater gift.
We’re excited about this Christmas season…
How is your family infusing the real meaning of Christmas into this commercialized season? I would love to hear it!