I’m a Christian who hates Christmas. I know I shouldn’t use the word hate because it is such a strong word so I’ll tone it down a bit. Over the past few years, I’ve dreaded Christmas.
I go to church regularly. I believe that the Lord is my Savior. I believe we are saved by grace, but yet being a faithful Christian, the Christmas spirit doesn’t come easy to me. Christmas used to be an enjoyable time of year. But lately, it’s stressful, expensive, and hard to find joy. I put weeks of work into the holiday with decorating the house, preparing foods, and shopping for all the gifts. It all gets overlooked in a matter of seconds Christmas morning when the exchange of gifts occur. The kids rush from present to present giving the impression that they really don’t care about the gift they opened.
Gift giving is more like gift expecting.
I have a love/hate relationship with gift exchanges. Gift exchanges are impersonal with family and close friends. In my mind, if I wanted to get you a gift I would. I don’t need to be forced to give a gift through an exchange. I do find them fun when I don’t know the recipient well. It’s a great way to get to know them better.
Where is the giving… Just because? God gave his one and only son to us. He asks us to accept the gift with nothing in return. That’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about.
That’s where my heart thrives. I thrive when I purchase gifts for others who aren’t expecting anything. I don’t expect to get anything in return. I also get disappointed when those friends or neighbors show up a few days later to return a gift. If I was on your Christmas list to begin with, I’m thrilled. But if you went out of your way to get me a gift, because I gave you one then please don’t! I just wanted you to know that you are appreciated. You are loved. The gift was given without any strings attached, just how God loves us.
Dictionary.com definition of Christmas: The annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts
Urban Dictionary definition of Christmas: The celebration of the birth of commercialism. Oh yeah, and Jesus.
The Urban Dictionary definition is really how my heart feels and that’s why I’ve dreaded Christmas.
I know I must sound like the Grinch. But commercialism has ruined my spirits.
My husband doesn’t understand why I feel this way. Perhaps it’s because he actually gets to sit back and enjoy the season. He’d help if I’d ask him. But I rarely ask. I usually take on all the responsibilities myself.
I don’t want to hate Christmas. Therefore every year, I have to step back and really remember what this season is about.
- It’s about Jesus.
- It’s about Giving.
- It’s about Joy
- It’s about Love
It’s still an EFFORT to get into the spirit of Christmas. So I’ve put together some tips that help me get into the spirit. If you’re feeling the same way I do hopefully these tips can help you, too.
- Decorate. When the Christmas tree is up, you’ll find yourself drawn to the light, the beauty etc.
- Give. Without expectations. Buy a gift for a neighbor, friend, store clerk etc.. Or Pay it forward the next time you are at the coffee shop, gas station, etc. to a random stranger.
- Focus. Sit and watch the joy of children running down the stairs in excitement. Listen to their laughter, see those tears. All those joys and emotions we forget about.
- Volunteer. When you give of yourself to those in need, your heart can’t help to change.
- Participate. Examples: Caroling, glittering lights, concerts, parades, ballets, ice skating, decorating gingerbread houses and more.
- Gather. Get together with friends and join in on the spirit. Have a gift wrapping party, cookie exchange, movie night, etc.
- Read, Watch and Listen. Enjoy some Christmas classics or listen to your favorite Christmas songs.
- Relax. In the end, everything will get done. Just take it day by day.
- Remember. This season is a season. There will be a time when the kids are out of the house, we’ve lost loved ones and we need not take that for granted.
- ASK. Get help from others.
What are ways you get into the Christmas spirit?
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