Every year we get to this time of year and two things happen: People start playing music and other people start complaining about it. It generally strikes me as funny how Christmas decorations start to whip people in a frenzy. It is as if they have suddenly realized that this holiday is now coming and there is so much to do. I am one of the people they are annoyed with because I have embraced fully the season of Christmas. In fact, I look forward to it all year. I do this because it brings such excitement to our home (and also there are cookies) At the same time, I tend to keep it simple when it comes to Christmas. We set a budget and we stick to it. We do not use credit cards for gifts. We don’t waste time trying to impress people because they know better anyway. We just enjoy the season. There is no reason getting stressed out and maxed out in debt in order to celebrate the birth of Jesus. In fact, I think it misses the point of the whole season.
Jesus Christ came as a baby in a most humble way, to extremely ‘insignificant’ people and the world has never been the same. What are we to learn from that? I think it comes down to two salient truths: 1) Focus your heart on gratitude and worship and 2) Take time with people over time with stuff.
Focus your heart on worship and gratitude
The point of our lives is God’s glory. We exists for His glory. When we remember this, it makes each day significant for us. I realized that my life is in His hands and my heart leaps with joy. This is the heart of this season. God did not just leave us alone in our sin; He came so that He would die for the people (even me and you) that rejected Him. It is amazing that Christmas actually has very little to do with pickled herring. (and that is probably a better thing than I would like to admit)
Take time with people over time with stuff
We have spent time over the past few years helping family and friends not buy us gifts. We would much rather spend time doing something with people than receive a package in the mail. Sure we get our kids a few gifts, but we save more money for things we can do throughout the year as a family. This actually creates a better overall family atmosphere and sets up our family time as important and an integral part of our entire year.
So Christmas is coming and yes it is a good thing. Who knows maybe your humble Christmas might be the one Christmas you remember for the rest of your life and aren’t paying off for the same period of time.