More Than Presents and Christmas Trees
I’m going to write a sentence about my childhood Christmas experience that is going to make my family seem rich and me very spoiled. I ask in advance that you don’t pre-judge. Ready for it?
When I woke up as a kid on Christmas morning and looked under the tree there was always a mountain of gifts.
Here’s the thing: we were NOT wealthy! We were the exact opposite of wealthy. How’d we get all those gifts then? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my Mom.
My mom’s parents loved her but were very poor as well and didn’t make a big deal out of Christmas. She got one very small gift if she was lucky. Growing up, my mom always told herself that, “No matter what, I will give my kids lots of gifts on Christmas morning.” And so she grew up, got married, had five kids and kept true to her promise, despite the fact that money had always been a source of tension. How? She simply finds a way. She recycles cans and bottles all year and does extra work all year. She shops at thrift stores and yard sales and the discarded books section at libraries. To this day, she will buy a kid’s book for 10 cents and wrap it up and give it to one of the grandkids. Each kid gets about 40! Plus, other things. She also makes sure to save up enough to buy everyone more typical/expensive gifts from Costco or Target or wherever. Again, scraping pennies and sacrificing to do so. She buys all year long in small doses so that at the end of the year she has lots of wrapping to do.
And so all this… in a blog post called, “Christmas is about more than presents and trees.”??
For my mom it’s so much more than stuff… more than gifts! For her, it’s about real love.
She gives with an amazing generosity. This spills out of her in so many other ways too. She is constantly providing for others around her.
And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Jesus came and didn’t come to be served, but to be a servant of many.
He came and gave of Himself. He showed us the most extreme generosity possible. He came humbly and showed us that it’s all about loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself.
So this year, I encourage you to go ahead and give gifts but don’t lose sight of the fact that you are doing so because you LOVE that person. Don’t get duped into the marketing ploys or feel like you need to keep up with the Joneses. Give gifts and serve at church and enjoy this time of year - for Jesus has come to show us generosity, life, and love.