Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tis' the season to...love.

Well Christmas is fast approaching! I love Christmas. I love the music, decorations, cookie baking, and time spent with loved ones.

But I also struggle this time of year. I cannot stand what Christmas has become. It has become about "things". I typically love giving to others but something happens to me a Christmas. I'm secretly a "Scrooge" (gasp)! I get so frustrated with what Christmas has become that I've allowed myself to have a bad attitude in recent years. I cringe when my kids open ANOTHER board game or when I see commercials that say "show her how much you love her with this diamond ring." My husband has not bought me a diamond since our engagement but I know that man loves me because he shows it with his actions and words (all year long)..not with something he bought.

My children do not need one more toy, or board game, or doll. I do not need a thing (well I could use a butter dish). But...it's CHRISTMAS so we spend too much money, we buy things we don't need, we stress over what to buy our in-laws, we wait in line for hours for the newest toy, etc. Why do we do this? Why can't Christmas be simple? Why can't it be about celebrating the birth of JESUS (remember him?) with our loved ones? Why do we (I) allow myself to be pressured into the hustle and bustle of the holidays?

I am determined to keep Christmas SIMPLE this year! I'm not saying my children won't get gifts, or that there will be no Christmas music or tree in my home. I just want to be more mindful about what this time of year is really about. I also want to be mindful of those around me. Christmas is not a happy time for many, many people. Whether they've lost a loved one, or lost their job, Christmas is a time of sadness for many.

What if our focus was not on shopping and material gifts but on loving those around us? What if our gift was spending time with the lonely widow from church? Or baking cookies for our neighbors (do you even know your neighbors? I don't.) Or packing a box of Christmas gifts for a child who will wake up to nothing Christmas morning. What if loving people, spending time with people, giving our genuine attention to the needs of others was our focus? I for one think that is what this season is about--Showing love to people the way God showed his love to us.

I'd love to hear how you and your family keep your focus on the real meaning of Christmas!

If you've lost sight of the real meaning what can you do this year to change that?

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?--Bob Hope


  1. This is something that we are very purposeful about, and have been since our kids were born... We actually don't get Christmas presents for out kiddos, or each other- we do one "family gift" and fill their stockings, but no individual gifts...

    I LOVE IT!!! It really really simplifies my holiday(s)...

    When we first decided to do this, we wanted to find a way for our family to remember that Christmas is about Jesus, and loving each other... and this is what we came up with... On the flip side, we make a HUGE HUGE deal about birthdays and anniversaries... because birthdays are about YOU. and it just made more sense to us that way! Lots of presents, special days doing just what the kids want(and we want)...

    Blessings on hearing the Spirit to keep this holiday simple for your family...

  2. LOVE it Sheljena, I mean Jena:) Something for my family to ponder..

  3. Jena that is cool! My birthday is on Christmas so I feel it is very overshadowed and even I forget that is my day, b/c it is isn't. I know it is a special day and I am glad that is when I was born. This year we are doing an advent calendar, that I am making, with activities to do each night such as, having hot chocolate, decorating the tree, reading the Christmas story. hopefully this will remind us what Chrismtas is about and enjoy time w/each other!

  4. I agree Sarah! I am beginning to hate this time of year b/c people make it all about the gifts and how much those gifts are. I am struggling to even think of things to buy for my girls. They don't need toys, or board games.... I will be baking Christmas cookies to give out and spending Christmas day running around to everyone's houses, eating and opening gifts, and picking Alexis up at 12pm. Merry Christmas Sarah, I will bring you and the family some cookies!