I’m the girl in my marriage (I use this inappropriate generalisation because my wife says I’m the girl in our marriage). It’s me who loves to shop. I’m the one who likes dressing up, impressing people with gifts, and wrapping lots of presents to surround the tree (and then posting the pictures on Instagram so people see what an awesome Dad I am).
Trust me. I LOVE Christmas! I love the joy and the connection (and the days off) it provides. I love the anglo-saxon white Christmas and I love the latin loud and hot Navidad. I am a huge fan of this special season in all its shapes and forms, but I hate what it “forces” us to do.
More buying, shopping, owning, obtaining. All to have more. Because we want more. No, we NEED more. And once we get the “more,” that “more” immediately becomes, “not enough.”
Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, was asked this question, “How much money is enough money?” His honest answer, “Just a little more.”
Yes. Just a little more.
So I write about an annoying subject – Consumerism. The Real American Idol. Other preachers are talking about the same thing; trying to remind us of the real reason for the season. But we are obviously losing the battle. Jesus might get a couple of songs, but our hearts belong to gold.
Then you have the The Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays war. Honestly, who cares? Christmas as a celebration is not a Scriptural thing. Defending a secular festival is not really our priority. And whether we celebrate Christmas or the Holidays, what we mostly worship through it is the trinity of me, myself, and I. What I need, What I want, What I get. As Shane Claiborne once wrote, “It’s ludicrous that we celebrate the birth of the homeless baby Jesus by indulging in the biggest consumer spending of the year, scurrying around trying to find something to buy for people who have everything.” (Highly recommend reading his book: The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
I invite you (by which I mean me) to stop being consumers and become givers. And not just givers, but generous people. Because who convinced us that Christmas meant gifts, obligatory parties, and getting into debt? Look:
This is really dumb. We are better than this. It’s time to stay free.
There are a few brave souls who wander into the oasis of enough. There, they drink from the fresh pool of gratitude and get refreshed in satisfaction. Yes I want their courage, but I don’t want to give up on Christmas. So we are choosing as a family to treat it differently. To spend less and give more. To open our homes to those who are lonely. To serve at a local food bank and visit an elderly home (and not post the pictures on Instagram).
What if we gave 50% of all our annual Christmas spending to those in actual need? What if we really embraced the Christmas spirit and did what Christ himself did? Feed the hungry, heal the sick, love the poor, befriend the sinner.
What if we the church where the ones who started a war on Christmas? What if we returned to simplicity, focused on relationships, and invested on things that last?
Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. – Dr. Seuss
I’m up for a change, because honestly I’m not in the mood to be paying for “Christmas” come April 2015.
If you want to join me and embrace a culture of generosity, check out:
– Iris Global – Our heroes in Mozambique
– Happy Heart – Incredible mission in and for Somalia.
– Our Adoption Fund – For our baby girl
Take a chance. Sow a seed. Reap a happy reward.
* Share the ways you give back during the holidays. Inspire me to action with your ideas and suggestions! Please comment below.