I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.
I love spending time with my family. I love baking cookies - and giving them away! I love the sparkle of Christmas lights in the dark. I love cracking open the Bible and reading the Christmas story. I love singing songs about that Holy Night in Bethlehem.
But here's what I don't love... Materialism, greedy corporations, Santa Claus, overblown gaudy decorations, gifts bought out of obligation, toy catalogs, greedy kids, credit card debt, greedy grown-ups, stress, crowded stores... forgetting the REAL reason for the season!!
Last month, as I began to think about Christmas, a sense of dread began to settle upon me. We don't have money to spend on people, on our kids, on ourselves and how was I going to make it all work? I was frustrated by the thoughts in my own head telling me all the worldly things that Christmas is supposed to be, and yet knowing that Christmas is about something so much bigger than presents and decorations.
Then I stumbled onto this little video. Please take the 2.5 minutes to watch it.
My heart leapt! YES! That's it exactly! Less Spending. More Giving! More Worship!
Teagan & I resolved to do things differently this year. Instead of a big tree, we are doing a Jesse Tree. Instead of going out and buying cheaply made, expensive, mass-produced stuff for our loved ones, we are making gifts ourselves and trying to give things that are practical, needed, or will be greatly cherished. If we must buy a gift, I will try to buy handmade whenever possible. We are also planning on giving to Samaritan's Purse and/or World Vision. We plan to have the children help us choose a gift or two to give through one of those organizations. We want them to learn that giving is as much fun as receiving!
We will also be doing nightly devotions as part of our Jesse tree. I also want to incorporate Scripture memorization from Luke and Isaiah. I want our Christmas season to be saturated and rooted in CHRIST. After all, He is what it's all about.