This Christmas season I’ve really stepped back and examined the holiday. I almost feel a little bit like Charlie Brown. When did Christmas become so commercialized and just another marketing opportunity to capitalize on? It’s been this way ever since I’ve been alive. But this year I decided to not let commercialism take over this sacred time. We’ve turned Christmas into a season of buy, buy, buy and buy some more. It’s a worldly season of maxing out our credit cards, going into debt, and playing the comparison game. I watched a commercial this week that said “Let’s celebrate the real reason of Christmas…NEW TOYS!” What greediness and false happiness we’re feeding to ourselves and kids.
Don’t get me wrong I love gift giving. It used to be one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Until I realized that the holiday season is actually a season of worship. It’s a time for us to worship God for the gift He’s already given us, but instead we’ve distracted ourselves with Santa Claus, stockings, and Elf On The Shelf. These things aren’t bad, but if we let them they become a distraction. We so easily forget that those are all Americanized traditions. We forget the real reason. We forget to worship. I love the idea of Santa, Christmas trees, stockings, and gifts but I don’t celebrate these things. They’re just fun ways to celebrate the Savior coming into the world, but instead we’ve decided to celebrate Santa rather than the Savior.
I’m not saying as soon as you’re done reading this go and break it to your kids that Santa is a fraud or to stop doing Elf On The Shelf. I’m urging you to stop making Jesus a side show to these things on His own holiday. Here’s a few ways you can do that:
- Stop bending over backwards to buy everyone the perfect gift. Here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on: everyone’s already been given the perfect Gift and His name is Jesus. (As cheesy as that may sound it’s true.) You’re not going to top that so go ahead and take the pressure off yourself. By spending so much time shopping and worrying about what to buy everyone you’re losing time with your family this season.
- Stop overbuying. Each person in my family gets one gift each from everyone plus a full stocking. I’ve heard of people giving their kids three gifts each because that’s how many Jesus got- if that works for you then go for it.
- Celebrate Advent. We’re already well into Advent but you can still choose to celebrate. I’ve been studying through the She Reads Truth Advent devotional this season and I’ve enjoyed it so much. It’s given me a brand new perspective on Jesus and Christmas in general. If you don’t have a devotional then read through the Christmas story for the next ten days.
- Read the story of Christmas straight from the Bible before opening gifts on Christmas morning. This will help to put the whole day into perspective and remind you of the reason you’re celebrating.