Every year we set out to have a simple Christmas.
We say, NO MORE TOYS. But every year it's bigger than we want or planned. I always set our budget WAY too low, probably even unrealistic, thinking we will spend so little. I go into it with good intentions. But, maybe I've been looking at it all wrong. Maybe I shouldn't set out to have a simple Christmas. Maybe Christmas should be BIG. Like really BIG. No, no. I'm not talking about getting my kids every single toy they want. I'm talking about BIG GIVING. I think I'll stop worrying about and feeling guilty that I bought too much. I'm not "ruining" my kids and raising brats. I am however, raising sinners, in need of a Savior. And woohoo!!!! A Savior has been born! You know - on Christmas Day. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
I have no idea where I'm going with this post, but for real. My kids will get toys that they don't need and might only play with for a month.
BUT, we get to GIVE on Christmas. We get to show people that we love them by giving! God showed us that he loved us by giving his son. Jesus showed he loved us by giving his life. And by george, we can show we love by giving to those in need, by giving to those in our family and to our friends - those in need and not, and whoever else God puts in our path. We are all in need of love!
I think I have missed the point - in emphasizing and trying to accomplish a simple Christmas I have done the exact opposite of what I wanted to do, I have put the focus on the stuff. How little stuff we buy. NO, it's not about the stuff. It's about the giving out of love. And Christ of course. But that's my point. He GAVE his life for me and you.
I'm done with the guilt. I like getting my kids things because I love them. And showing them how to give good gifts out of love is something I want them to learn. And I love teaching them to give to others. We not only get new toys and things to donate to different charities in our community and around the world. But we have stopped having garage sales and look for opportunities to give our gently used toys, clothes, and gear to others in our community! It's been so fun to give in this way. Yes, we are giving in our excess, but I hope and pray it is a blessing to those who receive it.
I pray that my children are learning to give. They go through their room every couple weeks and make a pile of things they want to give away. I no longer look at it as a waste when something brand new goes into the "get rid of pile" because I know some little kid out there is getting something awesome because my kids wanted to give it away instead of selling it in a garage sale for a couple of bucks or storing it away never to play with it. Not that having a garage sale or selling your things is wrong. I think it is smart and can be a great source of income for a family. I just mean for us, for our family, God has put it on our hearts this year to just give it. The nice things, the new things, the loved things, just give it away. I think he's trying to teach me to be a better steward with our money and resources. AKA - maybe break the shopping habit!
So that's a way we have learned to love others this year. Storing our treasures in heaven. And letting the kids have some fun along the way. So no more focusing on how little or how much and our focus will be on GIVING!
So, here's to our BIG Christmas that's coming up!