Anyone else feeling a bit disheartened lately?
This past weekend I was bombarded with emails. Every company I’ve ever bought from was letting me know about their screamin’ deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While there’s nothing wrong with a good deal, I’m beginning to feel a bit disheartened.
“Isn’t it a bit much? lt’s just, l look around at you and Mom and everyone getting all kerbobbled.” / Cindy Lou Who
When does it become enough? How many new things does it take to bring that shopping high down?
As a Christian, I believe that the true meaning of Christmas is the Saviors birth. We’ve raised our kids to know that this season is about celebrating Jesus’ arrival. And while we still give them presents and attend fun events, ultimately, they know the real reason for the season.
Fellow Christians, what does that look like? Are we modeling that for our children? I’ve come to realize that we haven’t been doing enough. We’ll be implementing a few more ideas this year to better focus on the reason for the season.
1. Plan to attend a Christmas Eve service. December 24th falls on a Sunday this year, so it’ll be very easy to find a service close to wherever you are. Spend some time focused on the birth of Jesus before diving into the feasts and gifts.
2. Purchase and donate new toys. Find a local organization who will get the gifts into the hands of those who need them most. Have the kids go with you to shop and do drop off, too.
3. Sponsor a child through Compassion Canada. This is not only a financial gift, but an on-going relationship for your family and another. You get to be pen-pals! For $41 a month, you’ll keep a child healthy, educated, and safe. That’s worth every penny.
4. Celebrate advent. Focus on blessing others throughout the month by using something like My Kindness Calendar or making your own countdown. Include tasks like donating clothes or delivering a meal.
5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate financially to one. Serve a hot meal to those struggling. If you are unable to give your time, give your money. We have so much!
6. Operation Christmas Child. Every year, Samaritans Purse distributes thousands of boxes to hundreds of countries around the world. These kids receive toys and health related items, something they likely wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
7. Visit the lonely. Head to a local nursing home or hospital and deliver Christmas cheer. Sing songs, read them the Christmas story, or simply give them the company they so long for.
8. Mail a letter/postcard to a Veteran. Take the time to thank those who spent time away from their families while allowing us to stay home and be with ours.
9. Bake a birthday cake for Jesus. This is a very simple and concrete way to teach your children what you’re celebrating. It’s a great idea for Christmas eve!
10. Read the Christmas story. This should be a given, right? It’s surprising how quickly we forget to take the time to do it. Better yet, find a devotional that will spread the story across all of December.
I’m not saying we do away with the turkey dinner and presents. I believe we can do both. The problem occurs when we begin to lose focus on what really matters.
Let’s look beyond the presents this year, and find more ways to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.
Got any more ideas? I’d love to hear them in the comments!