Thursday, December 8, 2011
I love Christmas. It is hands-down my favorite holiday. And, I actually love that the excitement of Christmas begins November 1st. I blast the Christmas carols from the radio, start filing away new recipes for Christmas cookies to try, order my Christmas card, and count down the days with my kiddos.
The only thing that gets me down about Christmas time is the stores and the stores ads. That may seems hugely hypocritical of me since I write a blog about stores and their deals, but let me explain.
I'm all for buying Christmas presents...in moderation. I enjoy finding that special gift for someone that you know he or she will love (especially at a good price). I honestly do enjoy giving more than receiving. What I dislike, dare I say it, hate, is that the stores with their huge BOOKS (many can't even be called ads anymore) of toys, and clothes, and tools, and electronics take the focus off of CHRIST and HIS BIRTHDAY and center it on materialism, and spending, and making this holy day all about presents.
Of course, I will still go on posting deals for you. If something is free or really cheap, I always encourage you to pick some up for someone in need. Donate it! Give it to a missionary family! Help out a friend or coworker who can't afford any gifts. I'm not saying gifts are bad-- they are a wonderful way to express love. Please don't think that I actually buy every deal I post on here. My #1 purpose for this site is to help you save money on things you are already doing; I don't expect anyone to snag all of these deals!
Our Pastor, Phil DiLernia, challenges our church to stop spending at Christmas. It isn't about the gifts, is it? What are we teaching our children? What message are we sending them at Christmas time? I want my kids to look forward to Christmas for the same reasons I do: the celebration of our Savior's birth, the time we spend together as a family, the memories and the traditions that we add to each year, the warmth and love we feel-- all because the most special GIFT of all was freely given to US.
For this reason, we've decided to stop this madness in our family now. Of course we like to buy presents for our children as much as the next family, but we refuse to let our kids get a bad case of the "gimmes" each winter in the name of Christmas. We refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on useless junk that will gather dust in our home when there are others who are going hungry. How can we throw away money like that? Is that really how we choose to honor Jesus on His birthday?
So, we are adopting the Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh Gift idea. Our kids will each receive 3 things from us on Christmas morning. They will get one "gold" gift- something they really want; one "frankincense" gift- something they can use for their spiritual growth; and one "myrrh" gift- something for their body. We will continue to encourage our children to think of others (like Christ) and hope that when they are older it will become second nature to them. We'll donate toys to Goodfellows and help out the families in our community and the world through the opportunities sponsored by our church.
I truly hope that this Christmas season is a time of peace and love for you. If you feel stressed out by Christmas, than something is seriously wrong. I once had a friend tell me that Christmas was her least favorite holiday because of the stress she always feels. That breaks my heart.
Don't let yourself getting caught up in society's message that you're not "doing" Christmas right unless you max our your credit cards and get in lines at the crack of dawn to get this years "it" gift. If you are feeling that way, I encourage you to go here and listen to these messages.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment below.