Spending Less and Giving More

When I think back, one of my favorite Christmases focused on this very thought.

My older sisters and I were in college. Money is scarce when you go to school for a living, but we discovered that the amount of money you spend does not determine the quality of the gift.

Our tiny table-top tree this year.
Mo friendly!

Months before the decision had been made, maybe inspired by the Little House episode Christmas at Plum Creek. All gifts would be handmade or repurposed from something laying around.

It was truly a magical season. I don’t remember what I ended up giving everyone but I can still see the wind chime my dad made me out of butter knives… don’t worry he cut off the blades, leaving the beautiful handles strung together. Surprisingly, the sound was lovely.

The gift my mom made still hangs in my closet, over twenty-five years later. She searched for old neckties and sewed them together to make a skirt–with all the points coming together at the hem. It’s spectacular.

Back then we didn’t have money, but we had time. And boy did we take a lot of time making Christmas gifts that year. We had to be creative and thoughtful about each gift. If only Pinterest had been around!!

Times have changed and it seems we are busier than ever. You may not be able to spend weeks collecting neckties or cutting metal utensils.

What happens when you don’t have the time to give a memorable gift?

I’ve wrestled with this as a mom–hoping to make Christmas special for my children, but at the same time helping them to realize what Christmas is really about.

It’s about love.

Love coming down to earth to know us personally. Check out this creative video… Love Came Down by Jars of Clay. https://binged.it/2rKvTRq

That love shows us how to treat one another. Invite others in to your home, your stable, your life.

This year, I’ve turned my focus towards spending time together. Tobey and Raegan will open a few packages–mostly things I would buy them anyway… socks and shoes, a book of course! The real gift will be a few days up in the mountains hanging out as a family (maybe hitting the slopes if the weather cooperates), a trip down south after Christmas to see my husband’s parents and sister, and a surprise adventure for the two of them later in the year. I’d tell you what it is–but what if my kids read this? I better not.

Spend time with your loved ones this Christmas. Make it the present under the tree. Even if you do have the time and the money, being together is the greatest gift you could ever give. Spend less on stuff that will soon be forgotten. Buy less things that break and go out of style.

Give more to the people around you by offering them a relationship.

Your time.

Your love.

It’s what Christmas is all about!

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

Isaiah 7:14 NLT


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