Let’s face it, this time of year even the best of us have a hard time fighting off Christmas materialism. Christians have often allowed the secular marketing powers to dictate what is means to celebrate Christmas. Whether that is buying the newest and greatest toy for our kids (or ourselves) or forgetting what it is we are really celebrating.
I want to put out a warning to us all, including myself to guard our hearts and direct them to the real purpose of the season. Do I love the lights, the songs, the traditions of Christmas time? Yes, I love seeing them through my kids eyes and seeing them anew myself. I love even more when those traditions push us toward Christ and away from the values of our secular society.
Think about how you celebrate Christmas and what is communicates to your family and those around you. We celebrate advent, a church period starting at the end November and ending on Christmas. Advent means arrival and we do things during this time to help our family remind ourselves of the significance of Jesus birth. We have never done the Santa thing (we do love St. Nick). We give gifts not based on good works, but on grace. We have made sure our kids realize that this isn’t a time to “be good” but to realize you are bad and God loved you regardless and sent in son to die for you. We remind them of this with a Christmas Eve birthday cake for Jesus.
We don’t want our girls to look at this as a jackpot time for themselves, but as a time of thankfulness and giving. We don’t buy a lot, but maybe more than many. We make sure they spend their own money to buy for each other and the girls we sponsor through Compassion International. I hope to protect them, at least a little, from the materialism that is so prevalent this time of year. Do we do it right? Not sure, but we are being intentional in our approach to the holiday. Being intentional and not allowing this time to run a muck is a great first step to fighting off Christmas Materialism.
How do you guide your children and yourselves through this holy time of the year?
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