Spend More Time and Less Money

Before we know it Christmas will have come and gone. My question is what will you remember when it’s gone? What will your family remember?

I’m not going to lie, gifts and food are a big part of the whole Christmas experience. At our house we don’t try to over spiritualize Christmas.

Jesus, His birth, the cross and His resurrection are not something we think about or celebrate only during Christmas and Easter. These events are with us daily—they are the infrastructure of who we are—they’re our foundational principles.

When our kids were younger we made sure they knew Christmas was about the birth of Christ. But truthfully you can get so wound up in the fun of Christmas—the tree, decorations, traditions, cookies, gingerbread houses, Christmas music, Christmas movies, parties, gift exchanges, baking, food, shopping, gifts and the wonder of Christmas morning, that the nativity story (not by choice) just becomes part of it all. It’s frustrating to try to compete with all the glamour.

Why not talk to our kids about the nativity story all throughout the year? I am not saying to get sucked in by the commercialism of Christmas and trample the real reason. But make the baby born in a manger story, part of everyday life. Then, at Christmas time enjoy spending time with your family—doing all the fun stuff that you do in December—guilt free.

Last year I got a little side tracked with all the gifts to purchase. Forgetting that God and family are the priorities of Christmas, my focus drifted to low resources and I began to spin my wheels. The pressure of the season was causing me to almost dislike Christmas.

Finally when it was all said and done, God came through just as He always does. He told me that next year He wanted me to spend more time and less money.

I knew I probably would not remember, so I got out my new planner and wrote myself some notes for the next year. When November and December rolled, around there they were in bold print, “spend more time and less money.”

This year, peace is in reach. When tempted to rush around and drive myself and my family crazy with traditions and shopping—I just stop—and with no real agenda, enjoy the moments of family time.

Spending more time encompasses spending more time with God as well as with our family. This is where the peace comes from. I hate to admit it but when I get too busy, my Bible time gets pushed aside, leaving room for stress to fill in the gap! And nobody likes that Mommy!

To have a good Christmas we need peace and strength, if we don’t spend time with God we will have neither.

When I reflect on past Christmas’ the memories that linger in my heart, they are not of gifts, decorations, traditions or money spent, but of time spent with my children.

Early on, by the grace of God, I crossed the lines of tradition and scrapped the big Christmas dinner. Unashamed I began serving frozen lasagna, french bread and bagged salad. My Mom disagreed, but to no avail.

The time that used to be spent preparing a large traditional dinner got redirected to spending quality play-time with my kids and all their new toys! Now that my kids are older, I have no regrets—just good memories

Be encouraged to spend more time with those you love—especially Jesus; in the end that’s what your family will remember.

Everyday truth…”This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” John 3:16 (The Message)

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