What Does it Mean?

Christmas is ridden with consumption. Retailers hound you with sales, rebates and seasonal deals that consumers cannot ignore. No matter your financial situation everyone is inclined to take advantage of the bargains. The average American will spend almost $650 on gifts this holiday season. Not to mention, the countless hours invested in waiting lines for the perfect Christmas presents. An incredible number of people take out loans and cash advances to support this bloated consumerism. Christmas is the one time of year when common financial sense goes out the window, and gives way to our inherently covetous nature.

It’s difficult not to get caught up in the Christmas hype.

Who doesn’t envy the house on the corner, with candy canes lining the sidewalk, blown up snowman in the front yard, candles in the window, wreaths on every door, and lights the covering the entire roof? Sure it probably takes up a day or two, and quite a bit of storage room but to them, having lavish decorations that hang three weeks out of the year is more than worth the trouble.

Who doesn’t love receiving that one thing you’ve been wishing for, or seeing the look on your loved ones’ face when they open up the gift that you picked out especially for them?

There’s a lot of truth in the saying “it is better to give than to receive.”  It is heartwarming to see my children’s smiling faces and hear the giggles of laughter upon opening a new toy. I don’t think we should ever quit giving gifts to our loved ones on this joyous occasion, but it disappoints me when people, make this “stuff” (toys, jewelry, electronics, etc.) out to be more than what it is and dismiss values like giving and family, which are at the core of the Christmas holiday. The love that you share is more valuable than any gift you could ever give. The time that you fail to spend with people you care about is more costly than any toy you can (or can’t) afford. When your children grow up, more than likely they won’t remember what presents were opened on Christmas morning at age 5… you’ll be lucky if they play with it for more than a week. A beautiful necklace will not save a stale relationship with your significant other, and a new PS3 will not heal the neglect that filled your teenager’s childhood (hopefully you do not fall in any of these categories). When we look at Christmas as a peace offering or a way to buy our way into someones good graces, we have completely missed the point. Christmas is not about giving people everything they ever wanted… it’s about Jesus. Jesus is everlasting love.

Spread love this Christmas and save a few bucks!

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