Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How about a RADICAL Christmas this year? Part 1

Last year, we did something crazy.  We decided that our family would no longer be purchasing Christmas gifts.  CRAZY, right? I mean how could our children live without "A Christmas"?  Well, see, that's the thing... that expression really bothered me...  A CHRISTMAS? What is Christmas anyway? a big STUFF GRAB? is that what i wanted to teach my children about Christ?  Nope.   We'd agonized about what to do about Christmas for a number of years, pretty much our whole adult life, much like Halloween.   We'd gone to both extremes,  ALL Christmas is ok- santa, toys, everything.- to NO Christmas is ok- treat it like a regular day, blow off the cultural stuff.  NEITHER felt right.  We've experimented with a number of inbetween happy mediums-  Celebrating with gifts, but forgoing santa and secular holiday music-  Doing the same but working REALLY hard to inject extra "Jesus" into it.

But we never really felt... right...  

Last year, a bit late- already into the buying seasons, i read this article.

And it finally CLICKED.  WHO'S BIRTHDAY IS IT?! Do I get presents on my husband's birthday? NO.  Does Elliott get presents on ASHER'S birthday.  YES!  HAHAHA...  But that's because they are twins.  Does Annabeth get presents on CHLOE'S birthday? Nope.   

Why would WE get presents on JESUS' birthday and how could we really, truly focus on HIM when we were focused on spending our resources on other than HIM. 

How do you suppose my children responded, last year, when we sat them down and told them what our plans were.  That there would be no more Christmas presents for them?  Yeah, initially it didn't go so well.   But watching the Advent conspiracy video   and when we talked about what it meant to be Christian- to REALLY be Christ centered, even the naysayers would not deny that what we were doing was right.  We prayed for peace and contentment, and now, a year later, we are all excited about our special date, later in December, when we better know how much we can budget, to sit down with our World Vision catalogue, some hot cocoa and Christmas music and rejoice in our wealth and our ability to make a difference for others this year.  

 Not that we are against gifts- gifts are fun! our family still sends gifts and that's ok.  I know that sometimes it can be a real blessing to give to others and we plan to do so also- we will be making presents for within our family and outside our family too, and baking cookies and caroling and sending cards.  The biggest difference is our focus, and where we spend our money.  Now this year is a bad example, because this year, we most likely will NOT have money to spend period.  Well, probably we'll have a little, and i'm trying hard to not be perfectionistic about it- Is it any kind of big deal anyway? Can our family really make any kind of difference?? (these are the thoughts that run through my head)  And i think the answer is a resounding YES!!

For only $25 our family can contribute to clean water to prevent disease- CLEAN WATER

The global sex trade is a thriving business.  I look at my sweet girls and think of how grateful I am that we live HERE, where i'm not forced to make the decision to sell my precious daughters to be sexually exploited or face not having food for any of my children to eat.  $35 can  restore physical and spiritual health to rescued girls by providing things like safe shelter, medical care, nutritious food, vocational training, compassionate counseling, and when possible, reintegration with a loving family. 


I think our gift of 3 ducks, costing us $18, about half the cost of pizza night at our house,  will mean a lot to the family who receives eggs all year long, and ducklings to sell to pay other family expenses.

Even WE can do this!!!! 

I challenge you to join us this year- To make a commitment to making memories with your family, and using the bulk of your money spent on gifts to give to Jesus, by giving to the least of these.


“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’Matthew 25:39-41

Here are some resources to help you do so-

Stay tuned for how to make Christmas special for your family, coming soon- in part 2.