The whole “Christmas is 10 days away” thing doesn’t bring me anxiety. Mainly it is because last year we decided to cut back. When we told the girls we were not giving each other gifts, but instead giving to those who needed it, there was no push back. They got enough from Santa, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
I don’t regret giving more. The only thing I regret is not starting intentional spending sooner. Once we saw that our lives were not any worse for spending less so we could give more, it was like all the pieces fell into place. This is why we are here. The point of life here on earth is not to collect everything and hoard it for ourselves, but to bless others with our time, gifts, and money.
Look back and see what you have bought for yourself. I am not talking in your life, but in the last month. Did that sweater bring you the joy that the same amount of money would bring a child you sponsored? Or will it be worn a few times and then donated and sold for a fraction of what you paid? What about the tech gadget you bought? Will you cherish it like a child from Guatemala would cherish a soccer ball? Most likely, it has become such a part of your normal life that you won’t really appreciate it and will “need” to replace it with the latest model sooner rather than later.
Yes, we all spend our money in different ways and these are just two examples. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying what God has given us. But I believe we have taken things too far and become selfish and hard hearted with our money. (I am included in this too!) Our fists close so tightly around our dollar bills that we have forgotten how to loosen our grasp.
This Christmas is a perfect time for a fresh start. We can become the giving and compassionate people we were created to be. We can free our souls from the entanglement of what the world says we should do.
If this is resonating with you, I encourage you to buy the book I wrote about our family’s experience with spending less so we can give more. It makes a great gift! Two dollars from every sale goes to our church, so it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Together, we can put a dent in the over commercialization of Christmas. None us need most of what we receive, but someone in our communities or around the world does. Let’s give them some of the bounty that God has given to us. Let’s honor Him by blessing others.
It will be a merrier Christmas than we have ever had.
Linking with Holley Gerth