Thursday, November 30, 2006
As we approach Christmas, it has started me thinking about the materialistic society we live in. It is amazing how many "things" there are in the world, and how much of it we want. As I look in my kids' rooms, I see so many little trinkets (many of which we didn't even purchase). We adults are the same way. We have so many "toys" and knick knacks.
And then Christmas season comes, and we wonder what we will "buy" for the other people in our lives. And yet, as I think about it, I realize that nobody really needs anything. So we go to the stores to buy gifts, just to buy gifts? The joy comes when I find something that can be beneficial in their lives. Then I feel good about spending the time and money on a gift. But, to just buy something because you're supposed to is just materialistic.
My wife and I usually take an evening to brainstorm together about what might make good gifts. Again, this is to help us seek out gifts that others wouldn't buy for themselves, or that they don't realize they need. When we can find these kinds of gifts, then it is hard for me to wait until Christmas for them to receive the gift.
However, this is another alternative. In times past, we have taken some of the money we were going to use for each other, or for our kids, and donated it to a worthy charity in their name. This has usually been received quite well, because it allows us to give to others who have real needs. We also set aside money to give to the church and to another organization as a "Christamas gift." This too helps to move us past the spirit of materialism.
I would love to see us use this time of Christmas to think about the needs around us. What can we do to give of ourselves in ways that would warm God's heart? How can we turn Christmas into more of a spiritual event, than a gimme, gimme, event? Let me know what you are planning to do and what you think about this. (firstname.lastname@example.org)