{Advent Conspiracy} Week 2 – Spend Less

Christmas is often associated with all the good things about it that come to mind: putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house; eating delicious meals with family and friends; going Christmas caroling; baking holiday cookies; giving and receiving gifts; and creating family traditions. For many people, this is, as the Andy Williams song put it, “the most wonderful time of the year.”

But in spite of all that, there’s still a nagging uneasiness deep down inside many of us. It’s because we know the joy is temporary. January comes, and the post-Christmas gloom and regret set in. Not only have we gained a few pounds, but the credit card bill? We won’t be paying it off anytime soon. It’s estimated that America spends $450 billion during the Christmas season—and in the end, what do we really have to show for it? Toys that are played with a few times and then forgotten, sweaters and ties that get hidden in the closet (for good reason), and yet another pair of driving gloves.

So what are we to do? Stop buying Christmas gifts altogether? Of course not. But we can certainly spend less by spending wisely. We can choose gifts that are truly wanted and needed over those that will be briefly popular. We can use our time and the abilities God’s given us to make gifts for the people we love. And if Great-Aunt Harriet tells us she really doesn’t need anything, we can honor her wishes and bless the lives of others by making a donation to a worthwhile charity in her name. Spending less and spending wisely frees us from the anxiety of Christmas debt regret and allows us to fully embrace the joy found in the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.

Father, we want to love others and give gifts just as you’ve loved us and given freely of your gifts. But we’re human and we get carried away sometimes, especially when it comes to spending money. Guide us in how you would have us use the monetary blessings you’ve provided, and help us make decisions that will bring not regret, but the true joy of Christmas to ourselves and everyone around us. Amen.   

 

 

 

[This post was written a few years ago for use during our church’s Advent wreath lighting, to accompany the Advent Conspiracy sermon series. More information on the Advent Conspiracy can be found HERE.]

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