I’m writing this in hopes of reaching you BEFORE you take to social media with your Christmas haul. Every year, for Christmas, my 12 year old daughter takes to YouTube to look for the Christmas haul of famous YouTubers and influencers. I check my Facebook and notice so many people posting photos of their kids in front of mounds of gifts and torn-to-shreds wrapping paper. In doing this, what are we teaching our kids? If Jesus truly is the “reason for the season”, why do we put such an emphasis on gifts? Why do we skip Church to make our own Christmas traditions? And why are we so focused on what we will receive?
I get it. Christmas has become commercialized. To many, Christmas is all about decorations and gifts and stuffing our faces until it’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions. When I was a kid, we were lucky to even get gifts at all. One year, the Lions’ Club adopted me, and I was able to ride the bus to Walmart with other needy kids with a crisp $50 in my hand. I bought everyone in my family of six a gift that Christmas with that $50. Another year, Mom didn’t know HOW she (and my stepdad) would be able to afford Christmas gifts, and someone showed up with gifts for our entire family, complete with a huge stocking full of goodies.
The past few years, I’ve found myself consumed in trying to make sure my kids get the best Christmas EVER since I never really had much of anything. I was always thankful, but it was hard to go to school and tell others that I got socks and oranges in my stocking, when they were bragging about getting the new Teddy Ruxpin or (insert hottest new toy). We can’t control what other kids do, but we can try to teach our kids about the true meaning of Christmas and keep their humility in check.
This year we followed a Christmas budget that actually kept us in line with our values. We refused to give in to smothering the bottom of the Christmas tree with gifts. We had a minimal budget based on child’s age, and it worked amazingly well so that we weren’t bleeding money! If you’d like a free copy of our Christmas budget calculator, click here!
So before you post your Christmas haul or photos of your kids with tons of gifts, remember there are others less fortunate who may be struggling to get through Christmas. Maybe they’ve recently experienced the loss of a loved one or maybe their main income earner has suffered a job loss or cutback in hours at work. Just remember that when you’re sharing your plethora of Christmas gifts, you’re rubbing salt on a wound for many people. If you’re one of those that is struggling this Christmas, this article may be helpful.