Saturday, November 29, 2008

Me, too!

Funny, I was logging on here to do a post about the same thing as Joanna!

I'll be the second to admit it...I LOVE to shop at Christmas time! Hey, why not buy two sets of 500 thread count sheets since they're on sale?

My husband recently moved to a new office. He's about 5 minutes from home, comes home for lunch, is home every night by 5:30 (he was working a 70 hour week before). What we were sacrificing before in family time, however, we are now sacrificing in money. After he took the position, we had a serious discussion about our finances. We vowed to not buy any extras, and to stick very closely to a very tight budget.

This Christmas, I'm even more aware of the vast abundance that we have been given. For me, pulling the purse strings tighter has opened my eyes to see an almost nauseating excess where before, I saw a false sense of need.

Our yearly tradition of letting the kids run through the toy store to make a wish list sort of made my stomach turn this time. I'm ready to cut the strings and turn the tables on the "I Want It Monster".

At our house, each year in December, we always focus very heavily on Jesus birth and why Christmas exists. Our weekly devotional time with the Advent wreath is sweet and the kids are slowly maturing and able to grasp more and more of the story.

On the flip side, though, we also seem to subconsciously focus very heavily on that ever present question: "What do you want for Christmas?" Heck, can you blame us? Who doesn't love the look on your child's face when he or she opens The-Thing-They've-Always-Wanted? It's very hard to convince ourselves that giving material possessions does not equal love. In fact, I believe that the less we give, the more we love!

My goal is to have the kids asking, "What can we give for Christmas?" instead of "What can we get?" Maybe we need to re-think our dialogue...we should be making lists of who we're giving to instead of lists of what we want.

I want to raise unselfish, generous, thankful, content children. I don't want them to always have everything they want. I want them to learn to be satisfied with the love of the Heavenly Father, to let Him fill the hole in their hearts, not to search endlessly for the "material fix" that so many people think will make them happy.

I think, maybe, just maybe, I'm ready for a *gasp* GIFT-FREE CHRISTMAS!!! But I don't think the rest of my family is (yet!). . .


  1. I hear ya on the tightened purse strings...
    The first year Nick and I were married, (I can't believe I'm admitting this) we had no money for gifts. So we calculated how much credit we had left on the credit cards, and spent right up to the limit on I think three different cards.

    This year? Well? We no longer use credit and we just don't have the luxury of even thinking about being selfish, quite honestly. I have been sewing a couple of stuffed animals for the girls, I plan to make them slings for their baby dolls, I'm sure we'll do art supplies, they'll have grandparents' gifts, but I'm not sure what else.

    Honestly, I'm not sure I would change it. Nick and I have experienced more of God's presence and teaching in our lives in the past six months than I think ever before. We are all healthy. We have stable work. We are able to tithe. We have a great marriage and we love our kids. Although at times I get really tired of the money issues and cry, we are so deeply blessed.

    Since Christmas is really about Christ coming to earth so we could be in intimate relationship with God, (even though it's kind of by force - little money does not give the option for materialism) I kind of feel like we're able to understand the point even better than if we had tons of money to spare. We have all that we need. Thank God!

  2. Yeah, I wanna be where you all are! The handmade gifts, art supplies, etc...I recently read an article in which the mother describes the process of writing and illustrating a book for her son for Christmas. She said, "while I spent time making the book, I spent time thinking about who he was..."
    What a fantastic example of how to have a "giftless" Christmas!