Monday, November 29, 2010

Isn’t there a better way to spend Christmas?

This year Stephen and I are starting some new traditions in how we celebrate the holiday. I feel like I’ve had a big heart change in the last year and a part of that has been learning to step away from seeing things the way I’ve always been taught to and training myself to look at things in the bigger picture.

Why do we celebrate Christmas the way we do? Every year it seems like we go into debt buying loads of gifts for people who already have more than enough. Doesn’t it seem like we’re really teaching our kids that happiness is dependent on how much stuff we have for them under the tree? In a few months from now most of the gifts will be lost or broken anyway. And it seems like the only gifts we really remember are the ones that had sentimental value more than the money it cost. It’s the truth.

I heard these statistics and they just blew me away.
leading cause of death globally =
lack of access to clean, safe drinking water.
cost to solve the global water problem permanently =
$10 billion.
amount Americans spent on Christmas last year =
$450 billion.

450 billion dollars.

Yesterday I heard a speaker ask whose birthday is it. If it was Jesus’ birthday then who should get the gifts? If you want to give to Jesus who do you give to- the least of these. There are so many hurting people and we are so blessed to have the opportunity to demonstrate His love and grace to them. We’re not dependent on happiness on what we buy or own. Last Sunday our pastor talked about how Jesus came to give us freedom from bondage. Wouldn’t it make sense to celebrate his birthday by helping others, by being life giving at Christmas also?

This year the people at our church are each giving $40 dollars this Christmas. 40 dollars ends hunger for an orphan for a whole year. After you give you get a magnet for your fridge and every time you open it to feed yourself you can be reminded that you fed a kid for a whole year. Now that’s a gift you won’t forget about.

So our new tradition this year is to spend less. Give more. "Give them our presence not our presents."

 What new traditions are you going to make this year?

If you want to feed an orphan for a year you can do so here.

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