Stepping Out of the Madness

The Christmas commercials began just after Halloween. Many of the major retailers started offering “Black Friday” deals way before Thanksgiving. The Christmas season has now become a commercial gorging in the name of the One who had nothing when He was born. All of us complain that “this year, the commercialization of Christmas has just gone too far.” Given the American appetite for excess, we can count on Christmas being pushed more and more toward shopping until we can’t even recognize it any more.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. You and your family can make other decisions. While the rest of the world is standing in line trying to buy the latest “must have” gadget, you can choose to celebrate Christmas another way. You don’t have to make a big deal about it. No public announcements are required. Simply choose not to get caught up in the mania of spending and shopping.

How can you do that? It’s easier than it seems.

First, make worship a priority of your Christmas celebration. Sure, attend the traditional Christmas Eve services and Christmas concerts, but more than that, make sure worship is the focus of your family’s Christmas. Read the Christmas story to your children. Talk to them about what it means that Jesus was born in our world. Make individual worship a priority. Find a time every day to read and meditate on the miracle of Immanuel—God with us.

Second, set a budget…AND STICK TO IT! Too many of us ruin the joy of our Christmas celebrations by charging too much on our credit cards. This makes January tougher than it already is.

Third, use time, not money, as your Christmas currency. For instance, you might give your daughter a dinner and movie date with you as her Dad. Take your son to see his favorite ball team (or rock band or DJ…you get the idea). Give your wife a coupon for a weekend getaway. Maybe if you’re a good boy, she’ll let you come along.

Fourth, make your family a priority. Remember, you have 364 other days in the year to see everyone. There’s no law that says you have to see everyone in your family on Christmas.

Yes, Christmas can be a crazy time of year, but it doesn’t have to make you or your family crazy. You can choose to make your Christmas different and meaningful for you and your family. Just because the world is selling it, doesn’t mean we have to buy it.