How do you feel about Christmas?

The Christmas season is thought to be one of the most joyous occasions of the year.  There are decorations all over town, the kids are excited and have year end parties at school, and the shopping malls are filled with shoppers making last minute purchases. With all of the joy that this season brings, why is it that there are still many individuals that view this holiday season as one of the worse times of the year? We sometimes forget those that lost loved ones during this time, are in nursing homes by themselves, parents laid off from their jobs, children that do not have parents, and parents that have jobs, but still can’t afford to purchase presents for their children.  During this season, ask yourself what the true meaning of Christmas is?

We know in the scripture it reads; “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given….” Isaiah 9:6. This is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! He was born so that we may live.  If we focus on His birth and the life that He lived while on earth, it redirects us to not focus on our needs but the needs of others.  If we all just touched the lives of one person in some special way this season, it will impact their life more than you can imagine. Acts of kindness range from calling someone to cheer them up, visiting a loved one, inviting those over for dinner who may be lonely, purchasing a gift for a child that may not get any presents this year, visiting a hospital, feeding the hungry, etc..  There are many acts of kindness that we are capable of doing this season, but many of us focus on the stress of shopping, gifts, and money, which can lead to depression and anxiety. This causes us to forget about the real reason of Christmas.  If we are not careful, we can shape the image of Christmas in our children by them simply looking at us during this season. If it is all about presents, each year, their Christmas list will get more and more expensive. If we are outwardly depressed, they will grow up remembering the sadness of the season, and if they see outwards acts of kindness to those in need, they will learn the importance of serving others and showing love during this time.

A long time ago, my husband and I realized that having four children can be quite costly, especially during Christmas! We decided in our household to put a three gift and dollar amount limit cap per child.  We also as a family do an act of kindness during this season as a requirement. Let’s think about this. If Jesus, the son of God and our Savior, only received three gifts from the wisemen, why should we as parents give our children much more on His birthday and not even acknowledge His birth? In this season I ask you to reflect on what really matters and the example you set in front of your children.  What you do this season can affect them for the rest of their lives.