Every year I try to down size Christmas without offending or disappointing anyone. I simply don't believe it's honoring to the Lord to go in to debt, or to be over indulgent and lose focus of the true meaning of Christmas by turning it into an excuse to spoil ourselves and others. Most the people I know, cannot think of a single thing they need and have a hard time coming up with something they even want. Gift exchanges are great, don't get me wrong. I do think it's important to keep Christmas special and a time to look forward to. It's wonderful to create good memories of the Holidays in all our minds. But I think it's more important that our children are raised with a clear understanding of what it really is they are celebrating. Almost everyone gets into Christmas whether they are Christian or not, which I think is kind of amusing. I think many are raised with the understanding Christmas is just simply a time to exchange gifts, bake, send out Christmas cards, and decorate a tree. This is all true, but the REASON we are doing this is being forgotten.
Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Without Jesus, where would we be? Jesus is our Healer, Comforter, and most important our Savior. So what does that mean? Savior...He came and lived on earth. A human, so he could teach us, feel what we feel-hunger, despair, loneliness, joy. He lived a perfect, sinless life.
But then he took on all our sin-yours and mine-on the cross, and was tortured and beaten so we could go to Heaven. He DIED for us, so we would never have to die, so we could live eternal life with him.
Now that's a lot to celebrate. That's much more exciting than any gift you could place under the tree. I know it's hard to relay all this to a child. However, there are ways to do it. There are lots of story books out there that you can read to them to help them understand. They can watch cartoons that teach the real meaning of Christmas. Maybe instead of making the focus on what children want for Christmas, we could talk to them more about what they think others may want. It would be wonderful to involve them in a conversation about what they think we should send to Grandma and what they would like to include in the box. What children really want most from us is our time. I feel we could spend half the money and twice the time with them during the holidays and they would have very fond memories of Christmastime. Children love to bake, craft, sing, decorate and read stories.
It's a great time to teach compassion for others not as fortunate as us. We are richer in general than 2/3 of the world. We can teach them about charities, and different ways to give. We can teach them love, which is what Jesus is after all.