So, my wife and I celebrated Christmas yesterday. Our day was probably similar to most everyone’s in the U.S. We woke early and spent the morning exchanging gifts with each other and opening packages sent from family. After the gift-giving the celebration really seemed to be over. It was just another day with not much to do. We relaxed and spent time looking over and using some of our new “toys”.
Reflecting now on this Christmas and the Christmases of years past, I see how the day really does revolve around the gifts. We spend so much time, effort, and money in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas making sure we get the right things for those we love, then the day seems over once the last gift has been opened. Is this really what Christmas is all about?
As Christians, we know the real reason for Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, but do we celebrate the day in a way that is any different than the rest of the world? Has Christmas become “all about the gifts” even for Christians? Have we bought into the consumeristic version of Christmas that the rest of the world celebrates? How much money do we spend on Christmas every year? How many gifts do each of us need to have a good Christmas?
As I prepare to raise a child, I am wondering what I can do to make sure that our family celebrates Christmas in a way that teaches the true meaning of the holiday. I know I can teach my child the biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth, but how can I also show him/her by example that Christmas is not “all about the gifts?” Any thoughts?