I LOVE Christmas!!! I always have. But somewhere along the way I feel like I’ve lost something. The holiday season has this sense of dread with it–all the busyness, shopping, events–everything just seems to happen so fast that it gets hard to enjoy it. I have to work to make time to savor those precious holiday moments. I have to work to make time to meditate on the real reason we are celebrating.
I try to get my shopping done early so that I can avoid the stores in December. But I usually end up having to run to Wal-Mart (I greatly dislike Wal-Mart, by the way, and try not to shop there, but it’s hard in small-town Mississippi.). Whenever I’m there trying to get in and out as quickly as possible, I’m often overwhelmed with this feeling that something is badly wrong with this picture. It’s like a Christmas nightmare! All this stuff, all these people everywhere, more stuff you need to buy, more and more people cramming into parking lots, store aisles, and lines. It’s just overwhelming to me. And it makes me feel like something has gone terribly wrong with Christmas.
I know that some of the overwhelmingness of Christmas is my own fault. I want so badly to make the holidays special and memorable for my family. When the kids were younger, I thought that was mostly about how much they get. I’ve been gradually reforming my ways for years now. Trying to make Christmas less about things and more and more about time together making memories. I’m getting a little bit better at it every year.
I came across this link to Advent Conspiracy on another blog, and I’m intrigued. The site has a 2 1/2 minute video that is thought-provoking. Americans spend $450 billion every year on Christmas. The estimated cost to make clean water available to everyone on the planet is $10 billion.
Advent Conspiracy is encouraging people to buy less gifts, instead to give the gift of your time to your family and friends, and then to give the money you save from buying less gifts to help someone who needs it. They are actually encouraging people to just buy ONE less gift, but if we all did this what a difference that could make! Advent Conspiracy says Worship More, Spend Less, Give More, Love All. Sounds so simple. And so unlike my often frantic and complicated Christmases. I’m going to give it a try.
Here’s the video: