Monday, October 25, 2010

so this is Christ-mas?

question: how many of you think your child(ren) have too many toys? how often do you mutter to yourself as you pick up the living room that it’s gone too far? that we have too much? that it might just be possible that we have become more materialistic than we ever planned to be?

okay, so what are you doing about it? because it’s that time of year again. you know, that time when we go into a spending frenzy to get copious amounts of gifts for our family, friends, and even some acquaintances. oh yeah, i think it’s called “Christmastime”. hmmm. Christmas. i wonder if that means it is supposed to be about Christ and not gifts?

sometimes it feels like, as Christians, we fight so hard remind the world that this isn’t a holiday about santa, that we forget it’s not even a holiday about giving gifts. yes, the magi gave gifts to Jesus, but nowhere are we commanded to give everyone of our family members a gift on the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth.

to be clear, i don’t want to say that giving is bad. giving is loving. giving is modeled in Scripture. giving is Christ-like. but what are we giving, and why?

maybe this is the Christmas to make the change. maybe this is the time to start teaching our children compassion and empathy. maybe we need to stand up and say, “i’m going to give away more. i’m going to be a blessing to my neighbor. i’m going to be the ‘cheerful giver’ that the Lord says He loves and i’m going to teach my family to do the same.”

a man by the name of trent hamm wrote an article about 20 ways to donate to others even when you’re broke. it caught my eye because i’m a single mom who only works part-time, so i could really relate. the article can be found online here.

please take the time to read it because there are some fantastic ideas there. (thank you, shan, for that link!)

that article got me thinking. and since i know Christmas is coming and i know what we’re all programmed to do, i thought that i would put together a list of ways, not unlike mr. hamm, we can give to others. let’s decide as families this year that we’re going to forego the whole ‘gift exchange’ and give to those in need instead. here are some ideas:

*give to your local (church?) food pantry

*give a coat to a cold kid (

*give a Christmas tree to a soldier (

* give clean water to those without (

* give Christmas presents to children whose parent(s) are incarcerated (

* give a wish to a child with a terminal disease (

* give a Christmas meal, or clothing to those without (

* give food, water, and education (

* give shoes (

can you come up with some others? do you have an organization in mind that you would like to share with me?

since becoming employed, i’ve had the opportunity to sign up to sponsor a child’s education monthly through the organization i worked for in haiti. to me, it is a blessing to be able to give. i want to live on less so i can give away more. how about you?

what do you think? can this be the year that we make the change for our families? can we model selflessness and compassion for our children in this way? i know that it will be an adjustment for our children, but is that such a bad thing? because, as i read it, the bible says we are no longer to “conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” (romans 12:2)

if you haven't heard about "advent conspiracy" yet, get on board! if you haven't watched this video, DO IT. i'm telling you i've seen it plenty of times but i always get emotional just thinking about those people getting clean water! praise Jesus!


Christine said...

thank you. i forget to stop feeling sorry for myself. maybe i am not feeling well. maybe life is hard sometimes. but i am warm and dry. my babies have all they need and we get all the food we need. i am willing. we will see what we can do and do it.

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