The Christmas Conundrum

Jen Hatmaker, a wonderful writer and woman of God has this great blog. I linked to one of her posts a few weeks ago on adoption and encourage you to check that out when you have time.

This blog post is on Christmas and how out of whack it has become. She talks about how her family is trying to combat the selfishness that arises during what is supposed to be a sacrificial, giving holiday. Things like watching less TV so they don't have to deal with the extra advertising, buying fewer gifts and giving her kids money to spend on projects around the world.

I appreciate her honest approach and understanding that not everyone will agree and choose to do what she does. I can relate to her feeling that during the month of December people feel off-kilter -- they want to be kind and giving, but there are feelings of obligation and selfishness that seem to always creep in.

This year was probably the first I've given much thought to it. For the past couple of years I have cut back on gifts, but mostly due to a smaller budget and not necessarily to be conscious about celebrating the birth of our Savior instead of the commercialized version of Christmas. My trip to Haiti, and subsequent changes in how I look at things and deal with money had me feeling all weird when my mom requested a wish list for Christmas. The sad thing? It didn't stop me from asking for a laundry list of things I don't need. Sure, I hesitated, but I still submitted the list.

Thinking of family Christmas traditions is a little weird right now because we don't have kids. But really, what better time to change your mentality on the holiday? How could I really expect to teach my {not yet existent} children about how important Jesus' birth was to all humanity if I myself get caught up in the buying of presents, parties and decorating the home? None of those are bad by themselves, but apart from teaching the significance of Christmas they are dangerous.

Deep thoughts for a Monday. ;)


  1. It seems like everyone is talking about this right now, quite the hot topic!for my family I have decided to step back and think about how I feel about the things we usually do. If they make me uneasy then we stop, we've traded the very boozy Christmas Eve party for a quiet night of Chinese carryout after early Christmas service. Not a popular choice with my inlaws, but I know it's best for my boys. I also find if I keep my focus on Christ, that it trickles through my family. Merry Christmas!

  2. I love this post and will read the post on your link. This is something that we think a lot about. We thought a lot about it before we had a kid because, you are right, there is no better time to plan. And now we are trying to change some things and it's difficult to go against family traditions....but it's important.