In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Does Christmas HAVE to be "too commercial"?

Yesterday the heater repair guy was here working on plans with my husband John to upgrade our heating system. We bought this home 3yrs ago and, prior to our purchase, it has been a vacation home. So we've been blessed to be able to upgrade tons of stuff in it, constantly.

One of the fun things about that is that we're always meeting new guys who do various kinds of work. I liked this guy; he was short and bit on the round side (as a fellow round-ish person, living in a world that seems to push toward extreme thinness, he automatically has an in with me if he doesn't blow it). I liked how he made sure to work it into the conversation that he was a Believer and, if we weren't already, we too could become Believers. Since John & I appreciated that, we all talked a bit. At one point this guy mentioned how he can't stand how commercial Christmas has become. I was polite but I just couldn't relate.

In our household Christmas is not commercial. I started thinking about what Christmas is about in our house... it truly is about celebrating the fact that Jesus, God in the flesh, came to the planet earth and was born into a human body. It's about taking time out to appreciate His great gift to us and to make the choice to be givers to others.

There are lots of different things our family does at Christmas time to create an atmosphere and help us keep our focus on Christ and giving.

A few posts back I talked about Operation Christmas Child and World Vision giving opportunities being one way that we make giving a focus during our holidays. Another thing we've done for several years to help keep our focus on Christ during this season is an advent wreath.

When the boys were young we did more hands on things during the advent wreath such as you can see over at Cross Point Church's Advent wreath devotional guide, or Michelle's Jessie Tree. Now that they are older, we've found a less activity oriented approach to work better. So I put together an advent devotional that's all written out, scriptures included, that we can read through together the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas as well as on Christmas day. Since I was raised Baptist, I missed out on all the fun, liturgical church activities such as an advent wreath. So I had to do some research to figure it all out. When I was putting this together I found some information provided online by Mark Roberts about advent wreaths very helpful.

Have you ever had that gross stuff they sell at grocery stores in the dairy section called "egg nog"? Well my kids adore that stuff. The only time we have it is when we're doing the advent wreath. That, and lighting candles, has helped make the event more entertaining for them. The main thing is that the advent wreath helps us keep foremost in our minds what the whole advent, Christmas, season is about for us.

What about you, what are some things you do to keep Christmas from becoming commercial for you?

8 comments:

Andrea said...

That is tough..we try every year, but still struggle with it.

Blessings, andrea

PS: you have an award on arise 2 write.

RCUBEs said...

My son had learned early that Christmas is not about Santa nor getting presents. Christ, the antithesis of society...it's about Him and giving...I do respect that families have different ways of celebrating Christmas...That's a great idea about the Advent wreath.
God bless and have a great weekend!

Michelle said...

LOL! Nothing. That's what we do to make it less commerical! We do nothing at all on Christmas.

Marty Duane said...

We make popcorn balls, we pull taffy, we tell the Christmas story, sing carols, and THEN we open presents. It's all about family time, and we always remember the true meaning of Christmas!

Denise said...

We make a Birthday cake for Jesus.

Dionna said...

I think kids will be kids to some extent and the wild-eyed excitement over Christmas "Things" is natural. But I also believe in teaching them to go deeper - further. We have our girls do a shoebox each year for Samaritans Purse. After going to Panama this summer, I could tell each one of my girls put more thought and gave more personally this year than in previous years.

Tracy said...

Denise, when my sons were little we used to have red & green balloons & crepe paper and make a B-day cake for Jesus and have a party type thing on Christmas. That was a huge success with the boys then.

Marty, from lots of things you've said at various times, it seems like you have such a nice family. I find it encouraging.

Dinonna, the shoebox Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans purse is one of our favorites too. The kids can get into picking someone close to their ages or at an age they want us to buy for together.

photogr said...

We do the ritual Christmas presents on Christmas day as most do.

However, I have always been one to take reverence on Christmas eve ( even when I was not affiliated with a church) celebrating the birth of Jesus by watching a Midnight Mass or a Worship program extoling the birth of Jesus. As I learned to play an electronic piano the family and I would gather around and I would play as they sang songs on Christmas eve.

Even though the kids are grown and out on their own, I still dig out the piano on Christmas Eve and play the timeless songs for my wife as we celebrate Jesus birth and a time to reflect on the true meaning of what Christmas really is all about.

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