Just a little over a week into November and my anxieties have set in. I’ve already prepared my excel sheet. Which gifts for who. Estimated costs. Actual costs. Which card to charge? Overall budget.
Christmas was not always like this. Until I had children, it was a pretty care free time. But my Christmas mania prep began with my first pregnancy. I was due November 23rd. There was no way in hell I was cramming all of my shopping in after baby showed up. I made it my mission to get it all done before D-Day and I did. And it felt great! No stress after baby. The year after I stuck to it. But this year, it is all feeling very wrong.
Because I’ve lost it. I’ve really lost the reason for the season.
I sheepishly admit that last year, we did not light our Advent wreath even once. We travelled around to see family. We went to Christmas Mass. And we gave and received gifts. That was Christmas.
We celebrate Christmas because Jesus Christ was born. Brought into this world for the sake of us all. It was only last week that I got past all of the crazy Christmas fluff to remember that.
Year after year Christmas devolves further into a secular black hole of red and green metallic junk, Black Friday mosh pits, and fiscal anxiety. And I’ve officially become a prime offender in killing Christmas.
Ok so I’ll cut the dramatics. But let’s be honest here. Social media plays the new Christmas controversies on a loop and everyone jumps on the bandwagon to “defend Christmas”. Our coffee cups aren’t festive enough. Shopping mall Santa is posing with children in a “glacier experience” this year. Uhm, excuse me, when’s that last time we looked up from our newsfeeds and Christmas wishlists to actually do something in the true spirit of Christmas?
All year round, I hope that I will raise children who will love freely and never be ungenerous. I pray that they see beyond their own spheres and see the needs of others. Christmas is said to be “the season of giving” but for Catholics (and good, decent people everywhere), we should be looking to exceed our 10% tithe at all times. Volunteering. Donating. Whatever we can.
Easier said than done. Life is busy. Our plates are always full. There is no spare time. But what better time than Christmas to start new family traditions? Giving together instead of receiving.
So instead of complaining about the color of my coffee cup or updating my excel sheet, I’m making sure my family knows what Christmas is all about. We’ll be cutting back on the excess. Giving of our time rather than wasting it on misguided, righteous social media battles. We’re looking for opportunities to give our time and love rather than opportunities to spend money. My new mission (or rather what it should have been all along)- keeping Jesus and all of his works in our hearts ALL the time, especially at Christmas. That we need to give true love and care this season and not just things.
Are you sick of the Christmas rush? What will you do this year to give instead of get? While there is not much service we can provide with young children like ours, we’ll be donating toys this season and keeping our gift giving to a minimum. I also really love the idea of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Definitely a doable idea with my littles. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!