The holiday season is when most people spend and do a lot. From statistics and survey results, we know that this is a global trend. Summary data just from 8 countries covering a 10-year period revealed the top spot belonging to Canada with the U.S. taking second place.
December is the biggest month of shopping. People are buying stuff. People are getting stuff. People are going places. People are cleaning up, cooking up, setting-up parties, and more. It’s busy, busy, busy. It’s things, things, things. It’s activities, activities, activities. The Christian family (especially the parents) needs to be careful not to allow themselves to be molded into this kind of Christmas culture. Young ones need to grow with a proper understanding of the meaning of Christmas. They must grow with more meaningful experiences and memories of spending Christmas and New Year holidays.
So, how can we give and get more during the Christmas Season?
- Instead of buying for people, “do” more for them. Let help be your gift. That will be more memorable. Ask friends and family who are nearby (and those at home), “What can I do for you this Christmas?” and let that be your gift. Maybe mow someone’s lawn or do some laundry and clean-up. Babysit kids or pets so a couple can go out on an unhurried date.
- Prioritize meaning and purpose over price and aesthetics. Give better gifts. These don’t need to be expensive. People don’t need more mugs, shirts, or shoes. How about short meditational books that give spiritual benefit? How about worship music CDs? How about a simple cup of coffee and meaningful chat?
- Prioritize time together with your most important relationships. Parties and meetings will be everywhere but time with your spouse, kids, siblings, and parents are most important. You won’t be together forever. Build stronger relationships with them while you can. Put time towards improving primary relationships.
- Choose simple over effort-consuming plans. It’s nice to plan for Christmas activities. It’s nice to want the best time for your family. Many times though, preparations suck the life out of you. By the time you are able to sit down and eat, no one is in the mood. It’s because tempers were lost and levels of frustration are high. Someone was late. Some food wasn’t cooked enough (or cooked too much). Think how much better it would be to just have minimal cooking and more enjoyment. Save your energy. Save your focus and joy. Eliminate the unnecessary tasks and go straight down to the business of just enjoying time together.
- Worship and remain worshipful. Christmas is not a once-a-year thing. It happened once but it changed everything for you and me. He’s done great things for us and He’s still accomplishing great things for us, in us, and through us today. Include Him in the festivities. Make time to be still in His presence. Worship as a family. Worship in solitude.
Steer your heart and mind away from the current trend of materialism. Pursue intangible and more meaningful ways to celebrate the birth of Christ. That is how you give and get more this Christmas season.