the real gifts of Christmas

By Fiona Mearns | 7 October 2011

christmasshopping

Despite making a conscious effort each year to avoid the Christmas consumer frenzy and keep my mind focused on the real meaning of Christmas, the reality is that it’s very difficult to keep an eye on spending during the festive season.  It’s a bit like hoovering up the needles under the Christmas tree, just when you think you’ve finished, more appear! 

Even if you rigorously scale down on present giving, only send e-cards, or make all your own decorations, there are plenty of other little extras that can catch you by surprise and eat up your cash. 

To avoid being tangled up by unexpected expenditure, why not take some time out over a coffee and review your Christmas spending with the help of our Christmas budget challenge?

There is also another lurking danger which may not be quite so obvious: that faced by the overt message of commercialism we can refuse to participate at all and stifle the Christian message of generosity so apparent in the Christmas story.  If you’re in need of an antidote to commercialism or feeling a bit ‘bah humbug’, perhaps take a look at a short clip from Operation Christmas Child following a journey of a shoebox.  Volunteering to fill and check boxes is a small act of generosity which happens every year in churches around the UK.  Maybe there are similar opportunities near you that might be able to give a little time to?

Giving our time to preparing for Christmas, whether it be planning activities or budgeting spending could help you to maintain a clear head when faced with the seasonal onslaught and give you that important head space to concentrate on the real gift of Christmas – one that never tarnishes, runs out or disappoints.

Posted by Fiona Mearns

Fiona Mearns is the Resourcing Christian Workers Coordinator at Stewardship and part of a team committed to helping individuals build and maintain strong, sustainable support networks.  She loves to write whenever there’s an opportunity and is a fan of a well-used apostrophe.

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