The Christmas gift above looks bigger than the tree, larger than life or anything around it. That’s what the gifts have become, larger than the meaning of Christmas. In our culture we spend more time thinking, making lists and shopping for that perfect gift than we do talking about the birth of Jesus Christ. Don’t get me wrong the shopping part is a fun challenge, a way to show others we love them with the thoughtfulness of the gift we purchase, that says I care so much for you this is what I have bought you. Exchanging gifts is loving, it is an act of kindness. That is how our culture celebrates this holiday. Families gather, share stories, food and kindness, kids are full of joy and play with each other and their new toys. People listen and sing Christmas carols and reminisce. God must be happy to see us with joy in our hearts, loving and giving to one another isn’t that what the essence of God is loving and being kind and giving?
The problem comes when we fixate on just one part of Christmas. If all we can think about is that perfect gift, that perfect tree, those decorations, those perfect Christmas Cookies, the perfect thing to say in the Christmas cards, the perfect thing to wear to the parties then it has all been lost. The Christmas spirit is all of it together with joy and love in our hearts. Balance is so difficult to maintain in our lives. Balance at Christmas time is probably a foreign concept. So slow down and reflect for a bit. Why do we do what we do at Christmas time? Is it for everything to look like a magazine cover? Or is it to be with family, friends and loved ones? Is it so we look better than our syblings because our gift is more expensive than their gift? Or is it so our gift simply says I thought of you and I love you? It is for the kids to think that Christmas is only about what they get from Santa, for me, me, me? Or is it for our children to learn to give to others and not see Christmas as all things.
This Christmas take some time to reflect on what you want it to mean to your family. Over the years I have tried to limit the amount of gifts given to my children so they don’t think that Christmas is only about gifts but about the love of God. That God loved us so much that he took the form of a human baby and came to live among us to spread his love and kindness to others. God taught us about giving on that first Christmas and so we should teach our children to not just receive things, but to give our love to others.
This Christmas consider going to a Church and celebrating the birth of Christ, show your children the nativity scenes and talk about them.
This Christmas celebrate Christ
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