Embracing the Spirit of the Christmas Season

After a busy start to December, we’re almost there – Christmas Day is just a few days away! Many people worry about the commercialization, crazy pace, and unrealistic expectations of Christmas. Even keeping the holidays simple and concentrating on Jesus’s birth – the REASON for the season – can be overwhelming.

So here are some ideas you can implement now through the end of the year to help you refocus on the true spirit of the season. And start slowly – your family’s Christmas doesn’t have to be reinvented in one year.

First off – remember the meaningful coupon books (free hug, kitchen cleaning, choice of game or movie, etc.)? How about a last-minute handmade gift? Or personally delivering a gift to someone less fortunate. Think of the gift of time and experience, too. A family outing to a performance of The Nutcracker is a cultural and special time together. Or jump in the car and check out some Christmas lights.

Less materialism is very important and rewarding…but omitting all physical gifts could backfire. How about a compromise? We’ve heard of several families with three gift per person system. Just like the wisemen bearing three gifts, consider giving each person three items: something they want, something they need, and something to read. Some families add a “something to wear” to the list.

Before you dismiss this idea as impossible, remember that we’re talking quality of quantity. One truly desired gift means a lot more than a couple of items from the dollar aisles at Target. In remembering the reason for the season, a bible or prayer book is a beautiful option. A new game or puzzle for your family to enjoy together builds grows your relationships.

This gift-giving method takes the main focus off of material goods without causing a mutiny. It encourages appreciation of material goods and the thought put behind them. And it frees up time from running around town (or clicking around Amazon) to spend time with family, friends and charity. And three gifts isn’t as confining as it may seem. Make it work for your family – you’ll see the benefits.