For a long time, I have despised the materialism of Christmas. At every turn, you are convinced to buy. However, I don't want this post to be another rant on the materialism of Christmas. There are enough articles out there talking about how bad the ourtrageousness of Black Friday and Christmas sales have become.
And for the record, this isn't to try to convince anyone of anything, or try to persuade anyone to change what they do. I'm writing this down for myself to put on "paper" what has been on my mind. When Christmas 2014 rolls around, I can go back and look to see what my thoughts/feelings are on the matter a year from now.
My thoughts "post Christmas" have been more about shifting around what we do for Christmas traditions. I was talking to Matt about where the tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts comes from. The tradition comes because The Wisemen brought gifts to Jesus, and the idea is for us to exchange gifts in remembrance of Jesus' birthday.
Well, that leaves me with one question: Since when do we get gifts on someone else's birthday?
So here are my thoughts. What if we shifted Christmas to really be about Jesus? What if we give gifts to Christ instead of ourselves? What if we worshipped, gave thanks, took communion, celebrated, sang, and fellowshipped on Christmas instead?
It wouldn't be about "What's on your Christmas list?". It wouldn't be about selfishness. It wouldn't be about disappointments because we didn't get what we wanted. (I'll be the first to admit I was disappointed more than once this year, because what I had anticipated in my mind of what I asked for, wasn't fulfilled.) Ultimately, it wouldn't be about us! It also would eliminate the madness, stress, undue spending, and everything else that comes with trying to fill lists and please people.
Instead, I'm thinking we could go ALL OUT on an individuals birthday. The one day a year that is unique for all of us...the day we were born! In my opinion, that day should be celebrated! Party, gifts, praises, you name it--that day is about them. Make that person feel loved and special. I'd even go so far to say spoil them. Make the day memorable. Make it unique. Make it one of the best days of the year.
For me personally, if the switch was made, it would take away stress at Christmastime and that time could become about thankfulness and reflection of Christ. It also makes room for celebration...celebrating Jesus and why He came to earth. It also would give a reason to make birthdays all the more special, and celebrate the individual!
I'm not saying our family isn't going to exchange gifts in 2014. I'm not saying we will. And my thoughts written out here on the blog aren't going to keep any of my extended family or friends from giving gifts to me or my kids at Christmas, either. I'm just thinking out loud. I do know that I want to get away from the idea that Christmas is about presents, and the "I got everything I wanted" syndrome. I am thankful that Matt agrees with me on all this, and he is on the same page about getting away from the selfishness that Christmas presents bring.
At the end of the day, I just want to know Christ was glorified, and also that my kids have an understanding of that, and that is their goal also. Whatever route we take to get there, I'm cool with.