As Christmas gets closer and I'm still pretending that I have all of my shopping done, I realize that I really don't want to finish my shopping. It's probably more out of the reason that I don't have time, but inside I just don't agree with the giving out of 'wants'. Sure I love to shower my kids with gifts, but I have a hard time when their list is a mile long (actually it's shorter but just really heavy due to all the electronics they 'want'). I love giving the surprise gifts. Giving when the reciever has no expectation of a gift. Giving when you expect nothing in return. Or, even giving when they have no idea who gave them a gift. (The only time it's ok to be sneaky) :) There are so many different ways to celebrate Christmas. A blog friend of mine Tonya, celebrates Jesus's birthday by reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning and giving three gifts. See here. Santa doesn't come per say although he is not 'outlawed' either. The three gifts represent the Three Kings' gifts to baby Jesus. Frankincense: A gift for spiritual growth. Myrrh: A practical gift. Gold: A gift that fulfills a want. Thank you Tonya for a wonderful idea! (If any of you have another neat idea, please share in my comments!)
My Christmas tip #2 would be to be creative in your ways of giving all year long. Do not over do Christmas by giving too many wants. If you've already bought all your gifts, try saving one or more back and give them unexpectantly sometime through out the next year. Also, let the holiday season be a 'holiday'. Holiday defined by Webster is this: A day set aside by law to commemorate (to honor) a special person or event; a day set aside for religious observance; a day free from work; any day of rest. Did you get the last one? Any day of rest. Rest. A cessation of all work as defined by Webster. So if we celebrate Christmas as a holiday season then we should rest in the reason for the season. We shouldn't work so hard to make Christmas, Christmas. We should let Christmas be CHRISTmas. We should rest in the fact of why we celebrate Christmas and not all the details to perfect our holiday experience. So what if you don't have Christmas napkins. Don't run all over town looking for 'just the right ones'. Spend that time being thankful that you actually own a car that you are physically able to drive and have the money to go get such a thing. This reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary. Are you Martha the one "distracted by all the preparations that have to be made" (Luke 10:40) or Mary the one "who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said"? Luke 10:38.
Are you a Martha or a Mary?