I was speaker at a women’s Christmas event one year. At the end, as we were munching on homemade cookies, a woman stepped up to share this story:
My teen-age son told me this week that he doesn’t need anything. More, he doesn’t even want anything.
“I’ve been reading about children who have little to eat and nothing to play with,” he said. “Can’t we find a way to take the money we usually spend on Christmas gifts and invest it somewhere to bring happiness to needy kids?”
I wish I’d kept track of this mom to see what they actually did that year. Did this generosity last? Where is that young man now? How is he continuing to honor the true Spirit of Christmas?
The media messages we receive every year end are like glittering tentacles…each one fragile on its own, but when combined in overwhelming numbers, they wrap themselves around our hearts. They stoke the fires of frantic commercial spending.
A good offense is the best defense? How do we intentionally bring the Christ-Child back into the center of our Christmas experience? How radical can we get?
With only three weeks to Christmas Sunday, can we still do something? Can we take time to sit quietly before the Lord and ask for His wisdom to change our holidays enough to bring Glory to him? Can we celebrate the birthday of His beloved Son in ways that feed our hearts more than our bellies?
Think about the biblical story. Travelers, rulers, families, business owners, herdsmen, wealthy dignitaries, the aged, the religious and more were impacted by Jesus’ arrival. We can follow the shepherds’ lead and “tell everybody” about the central truth of this blessed event. Or we can allow blinking lights and red flannelled figures to smother our desire to “adore Him.”
Years ago, a TV series that featured a pastor and his family presented a first season Christmas story where each person took responsibility for another family member. They were to find something that the recipient truly wanted or needed and they were to find a way to provide it without spending money. Even the youngest participated. The results were touching – heartwarming. The underlying message? It’s possible to spend little and still give things of great value.
How about you? Please take a few minutes to share a resource, a strategy, an incident, an idea that echoes the angels’ song and makes it possible for us to hear them even now. “Glory to God in the highest! And on earth – peace.”
Nancy Tichy, KidZ At Heart International author