Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's Really Important?

Each year I get overwhelmed with gift-giving at Christmas - we never go all out, but I always seem to feel the stress of what to get people, how they will like what I bought, if someone will be offended by the size or quality of their gift (or lack thereof) and doing it all within a budget. I thought that this year would be different; with the state of the economy (and our own economic state) we decided that the only Christmas gifts we would buy would be our children's. I envisioned a Christmas of simplicity, centered on the true meaning of Christmas, stress-free and fun....
Well....then I got to thinking (big mistake). I decided it would be best if I bought the young family members gifts, but then how do you buy gifts for some siblings and not others and risk offending them (or their parents) and then what if someone gets you a gift and you don't get them one and what about the people whose birthdays are on Christmas, and ........ well, you get the picture.
So, yesterday, as I was out shopping (not a great idea on the Saturday before Christmas when my husband had already asked me to stay home and rest since I was fighting getting sick) and I was stressing over yet another gift. I thought about the nativity we had visited the night before. I thought about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and how hard the journey had to be both physically and emotionally. Having had three children in the comfort of a hospital with the best medical care, I thought about the God of the universe being born as a baby in a stable for animals. I thought about the sacrifice God made on our behalf because He loves us so much. And as I stood in the middle of JC Penney, with my head throbbing, upset at my children because they were misbehaving, frustrated over gift choices...I felt ridiculous. I decided right then and there that I was done. I had already purchased gifts from the goodness of my heart (what little there is :) ) and anything more would be for the wrong reasons. I apologized to the Lord for once again getting wrapped up in the craziness of the season and losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, we will have a Christmas with all the trappings, a decorated home, food, family and gifts as that is how we celebrate this special day. But with little reminders (like I got yesterday) I will daily realign my focus, taking it off myself which is exactly where it is when I am worrying about what others think, and focus on God's blessings in my life and His most important gift to us..Jesus.


pondering said...

LOVE this post! It's SO true! I pray my kids get that this year as well. I got your comment on my blog and thanks, I will await your email.

Saved by Grace said...

Wow!!! That was very well said. I love when the Lord does that. He is soo amazing!! Wow, I love how he reminded you of how he sent his Son. That was a great reminder for me.

God Bless you!!
Thanks for sharing!!

In His Love,