During this holiday season I can’t help but notice how far out of whack everything is today.  Everyone is hoping for a big rush in stores to help businesses make their end of the year profit.  Did you see the stores on Christmas in the news? People were shoving and hitting one another, and one man even fired off a gun in order to get to the counter. It’s as if the Christmas season is a success only if everyone goes out and spends, spends, spends.

Christmas 2011

But think about it for a moment – is that what Christmas is all about? And don’t we who call ourselves Christians contribute to the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping? Most churchgoers spend more on Christmas presents than they give to the church or charity the entire year. That’s a sobering thought.

Twenty-five years ago, my wife and I decided to stop giving presents.  My parents thought we were crazy and our friends couldn’t understand it.  Even the people at our church thought we were a bit too fanatical. But guess what? We enjoyed Christmas without all the fuss of shopping, often to buy something for someone who didn’t need it or who might return it the next day.

Of course, if everyone took my advice, our economy would most surely tank. You see how mixed up we are today – we have to spend, spend, spend in order for our way of life to continue. Makes you think.

Question: How do you combat the materialistic tendencies of the Christmas season? Share your ideas in the Comments section below.

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