Monday, November 15, 2010

Contemplating Christmas

The onslaught of Christmas has begun. Or at least, what society has put in the place of Christmas. Last year, I explained my reservations with all of the secular trappings of Christmas & the way this holiday is celebrated, despite growing up as a Christmas fanatic.

This year, I'd like to share with you one major way we've decided to change things. I want to make it clear, though, that I'm not prescribing this for anyone else. How we celebrate this precious holiday has come about through a lot of introspection & evaluation of our hearts in light of God's Word. You must do the same, too, & if you genuinely come to a different conclusion, don't expect to face judgment from us because it's not our way. We all desire to live in a way that reverences & glorifies Christ, & that will sometimes work itself out in different ways for different families. The goal is to honor & glorify the One whose birth we are celebrating.

So, the major change in our household is that we won't be buying presents for each other or the adults in our lives. We're still buying for our nieces & nephews, but it has to be things that point to Christ & guide in the worship of Him. Gifts like The Big Picture Story Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, or "I Want To Be Like Jesus" are excellent! Why have we ditched presents? Well, we Christians celebrate this day as Christ's birth, right? You can sometimes even hear us say, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" If it's His birthday, why are we getting presents for ourselves? Especially presents that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ. After all, we don't get presents on others' birthdays at any other time of the year. But, all gifting isn't off-limits. We asked ourselves what kind of giving would glorify Christ, what kind of giving would be done in His Spirit? Christ gave of Himself in ministering to others when He was here on this earth. There are so many ways for us to follow in His stead! People are all familiar with visiting nursing homes & serving in soup kitchens. These are wonderful ways of ministering to others, & we highly recommend them, but we'd like to take this next week to share with you some other ways that you may not be as familiar with.  Each day, starting tomorrow, we'll highlight a particular ministry that we've substituted for traditional gift-giving.  We hope you'll search your heart & consider doing the same.


Anonymous said...

Great idea about highlighting certain ministries on your blog as good Christmas presents for people. I look forward to see which ones you post about. Also, I thought you were quite humble in your assessment of how you guys will do Christmas. Some may have come across judgemental or legalistic about it and I liked the way you presented it (no pun intended).

The Boyds said...

Ha! "No pun intended" - cute! I know it can be all too easy to be judgmental & legalistic; it's just how we're bent. I really wanted to stay far, far away from that mentality. Thanks for your reassurance that I succeeded! I always appreciate your encouragement.