If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that although I love Christmas, I cannot stand the consumerism that threatens to overwhelm this holy time. It honestly drives be bonkers.
For many a year in our home we have refused to give into this consumerism disease. We set a modest - cash only - budget for gifts and our food choices are based on what we actually like to eat and on a scale that we can eat without having mounds and mounds of food left over.
This holiday is, after all, about the birth of our Saviour. It's about Jesus.
For our family it is not about personal gain (expensive gift wise), it's not about over-indulgence, it's not about having my house outshine my neighbours with lights and decorations. Please don't read that last bit as we don't decorate because we do, we just don't spend vast amounts of money each year on decorations. We re-use the decorations we have had all our married life each year.
I have to say that the attack from all sides seems to start earlier and earlier each year. Christmas decorations have been in stores since September. Television adverts are setting picture-perfect, simple heart-warming scenes, all to entice the consumer to spend on their products. Christmas movies have been playing on the dedicated Christmas movie channel since October.
As I was pondering over these things, I came across this wonderful article written by a lovely blogger on doing Christmas your way. She addressed almost all the issues that we all face over this Christmas season, she shared how they deal with it. I found it quite encouraging (her article but also her readers comments afterwards) to see how many people resist the seasons trappings and feel free to do what is important to them. I was especially encouraged on the charity collection bucket side of things. Lets face it, they are everywhere at this time of the year. Personally we have two Christian charities that we support that make a huge difference in people's lives, but I still feel like a horrible person when I choose not to contribute to every single open bucket at every single shop entrance! But honestly, it's just not possible to support every-single-collection. I found her statement on how she feels about this issue comforting in a way, and I will try to remember what she said every time I feel overwhelmed with guilt for not popping in some cash or committing to a direct debit for the next year!
Anyhoo, my point for this post is (apart from my own thoughts being clarified through the act of writing it down), that I really want to keep this season focused on Jesus. I want to keep it simple and real, yet make it special for all the right reasons! I don't want our Advent and Christmas to replicate a Hollywood Christmas movie. With Advent being two and half weeks away, I think that now is a good time to reflect on and clarify what Christmas truly means to us as a Christian family and how I'm going to encourage that in my own home.
Blessings to you all...