How are you handling the holiday season? I know it’s a crazy time of the year, it’s crazy for me too. I have been recovering from surgery and have been down for awhile. I have really appreciated your prayers!
I received a message the other day from a busy mom who is in the same boat as most of us. She wrote,
We are not enjoying the Christmas season that much. My husband and I don’t have much money and the pressure of buying gifts is weighing heavy on our hearts.
Do you have any advice or encouragement?
I have a lot of thoughts on this particular subject, but I want to start off by saying I totally understand the frustration this mom is feeling. I grew up in the 80’s, and in the 80’s, Christmas was all about the gifts. Sometimes at our house, we couldn’t even see the tree because the gifts were so plentiful.
Often on Christmas morning, we would come into the living room to see Santa (aka Grandpa) literally filling the living room with gifts. There were seven children in my family, so to be fair there were a lot of us, with two sets of grandparents and my parents then all seven kids. My point is that we were used to getting a lot of gifts.
Great as a child—but as an adult it’s very guilt-inducing. As much as we loved getting all those gifts, as I grew into adulthood, it occurred to me that the things I treasured the most about Christmas had very little to do with the gifts we received. I truly loved the memories of my mom baking with us, going out to look at Christmas lights, cutting paper snowflakes with my sisters, playing in the snow outside, hot apple cider and playing music with my family. Those were the things that really made an impact on me.
In result, my family has adopted a simpler approach toward Christmas. We do exchange a few gifts, but our focus is not on the gifts. It’s more about the memories than the money.
If you’re struggling under the burden of the holidays, stop and think about where that pressure is coming from. It’s not coming from the Christ child. It’s coming from the culture. Do not let the culture define Christmas for you.
Christmas is about a little baby who came to the world to bring us hope and salvation. You can show your children how much you love them by giving them your time and energy and letting them finish their long stories and by watching their plays. You want to help them to learn to give to others, rather than getting things for themselves.
Best of all, you can point your children to Jesus in the midst of all the cookie-baking and memory making.
When it’s all said and done, the best things in life aren’t things.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours!