Fall comes quickly, the leaves on the trees change colors and falls down on the ground. The air gets cooler and nighttime gets earlier every day. My heart begins to skip a beat and all of a sudden I'm nervous...the holidays are near!
Shops have their Christmas stuff up and you see messages like: "60 days to Christmas" and you might be thinking of all the people you have to buy gifts for. And it also seems every year my pocketbook shrinks. Let me challenge you as I have been. The holidays are so commercialized that it's hard to know why we are celebrating.
As a follower of Jesus, my heart is pricked that I have gotten away from the true of meaning of Christmas. It is to celebrate the birth of my Savior, and regardless whether or not He was born in December, it is because of Him that I'm even alive and kicking.
This year, hubby and I decide to lessen our holiday spending and not go into further debt. I must say I like this concept for many reasons but mainly, because it takes the pressure off trying to pick up just the right gifts for a bunch of friends and family on my list. Why do I stress myself out every year?
Not as Much Spending for Me this Year
Making a few handmade gifts for Christmas for friends and family is a good idea for me with little time on my hands. But even with that, I want to put more focus personally on spending time with my loved ones. As a business owner, I don't want to contradict myself by stating that I plan on lessening my spending while still hoping customers will buy from me. Everyone's situation is different. My only reason for this post is to caution us on racking up a lot of debt that we'll have trouble paying off in the new year.
And, the more study I do, the more I realize how easily my priorities have gotten out of whack. I really want to celebrate Jesus' birth which means giving Him presents. What kind of presents can I give Him?, someone I've never seen? Several in fact: love and kindness to others, for He said in Matthew 25:34-40:
"Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'"
"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"
Jesus means for us to show the world a genuine love that only He can give. People are tired of phoniness. They want to see true goodness. And we are supposed to be the hands, feet, and eyes of Jesus but even more importantly, we are supposed be loving as He has been towards us.
I know it's impossible to help everyone in the world, but I can try to show love to the ones I come into contact with assisting how and where I can. That can be spending quality time with a friend, praying with someone who is really going through a rough time, gifting of my talents to help encourage, and even my hubby and I giving money as a need arises. These are gifts that have long-lasting effects.
We can't fix the whole world's problems, but if each of us does what he or she can do in own back yards, imagine for a moment how different this world would be. Jesus would look down on us from Heaven with a smile on His face very happy with what He sees.
This year, my plan is to buy a few gifts but invest more time making new memories and traditions that will have everlasting benefits both here on earth and in Heaven.
What about you? Have you decided to treat this Christmas a little differently from the ones before? Tell me how in the comments below.