Christmas can be a stressful time of year even in the best of economies. When funds are limited and the economy is unpredictable, it can turn out to be the worst of times – unless you recession proof it. In the United States, we tend to go overboard on gift giving. Adults as well as children get used to bigger and better gifts each year. Year after year we talk about the real meaning of Christmas but still get caught up in the fever of the retailer’s agenda for the season. Trying to celebrate Christmas in the same way, spending money as if times are prosperous, will create more stress and less happiness. Acknowledging the limited resources and planning ahead will cause it to run more smoothly.
This year may be the time when many of us have to think very hard on the meaning behind celebrating Christmas. We will be planning a more Christ-centered holiday by necessity if not by choice.
We celebrate the birth of Christ, Who came to release us from bondage. In more prosperous season’s we have seemed to make an effort to put ourselves back into bondage. Financial bondage to banks and credit card companies and poor budgeting.
- As a family, spend a day volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Remember those who have spent many Christmases without.
- Collect coats, scarves and mittens for the homeless. You will likely find old coats, etc in your closet. Ask your neighbors for theirs.
- Angel Trees contain names of children of prison inmates, orphans or other needy children who will not receive gifts at Christmas. Find an Angel Tree – at a bank, grocery store or church – choose a child to sponsor.
- Save your coins. When you are shopping make it a point to drop money into every Salvation Army bucket that you see. Younger children can take turns putting the coins in.
- Find free or very inexpensive activities to do as a family.
- Attend Christmas plays and programs at the community center or area churches.
- One evening, take a trip to view Christmas lights in town and in housing additions.
- Go caroling.
Plan a simpler Christmas dinner and involve the whole family in the preparation.
- Be more loving – people are hurting.
- Be more compassionate – people are afraid.
- Be more patient – people are stressed out.
- Share Jesus with everyone. Those who don’t know Him, have no one to turn to.
Walking With Women of the Bible
E-Book by Lynne Chapman
Join me in getting to know some amazing women of the Bible
while we extract valuable insights and lessons from their lives.