Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Skipping the Hoopla

“Did you spend your Christmas money yet?” I asked my 14-year-old grandson.

“No, Nana,” Kodey answered. “I don’t really need anything. It would really be okay with me if I didn’t get anything for Christmas. It’s just nice to have time off and to spend it with the family.”

Wow! I haven’t heard that kind of insight from too many adults, let alone a teenager. It’s a wonderful sentiment—one I wish we could all adopt, without feeling “guilt-ed” into buying, buying, buying.

It seems God wanted to drive the point home with me. A couple days later, a customer came into the store where I work and bought a few little decorations. I asked, “Finishing up your holiday shopping?”

“No, I don’t buy Christmas gifts. As children our father taught us that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, not ours, so we didn’t receive gifts. Our family just focused on celebrating Christ’s birth.”

Though I doubt it is a very popular one, her father’s outlook on the holiday certainly gave me food for thought, especially following on the heels of Kodey’s comment. What would Christmas be like without all the hoopla surrounding gift giving?

Store owners would shudder. Most children, and many adults, would certainly whine and squawk. And yet, perhaps less emphasis on “gifting” would free us to truly recognize and receive the greatest gift all of us have been given—God’s gift of salvation through the birth, life, and death of Jesus.

photo from
Dick and I always limited our gifts to three, (in remembrance of the three gifts Jesus received at His birth) but never tried a gift-less Christmas. I don’t think I could really go through with it. Have you ever tried a Christmas without gifts? How did it go? Do you know a family who doesn’t exchange gifts? How do they celebrate Christ’s birth?

Christmas Blessings!

©2015 Pamela D. Williams