Christmas Spirit (Or Lack There Of)

Photo:  Marcus Edwards   | Wreath:  Hana Style Designs

Photo: Marcus Edwards  | Wreath: Hana Style Designs

I have had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  I decorated most of our house before we left town for Thanksgiving, I have been spratically buying presents throughout the year, and we had our annual Christmas party this past weekend.  

Yet still, the holiday spirit is down for me this year.  I've been trying to pin point what's going on in my heart and spirit but I've been struggling.  So here's where I think my heart is: Do we really need to give just for the sake of doing the traditional thing of giving presents on Christmas?  I mean, there are many times I feel inspired to give something to a specific person or I want to treat someone just because but I have been feeling overwhelmed about thinking of good presents for my family and friends that is something they want and need. 

I am all for giving!  I feel blessed when I can give and let's be honest, I feel blessed when I receive.  

I love the history and legends of St. Nicholas.  St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey).  He inherited a large sum of money, but devoted his life to helping others, and eventually became a bishop. He was a very kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it.  In the story of Nicholas rescuing the poor maidens from being sold into slavery, the gold dowry money, tossed in through the window, is said to have landed in stockings left to dry before the fire.

I know so many of you give much time and resources to people and organizations who need you.  Let's do more of that.  Less of the crazy commercialism unless it has meaning and purpose.

If anyone else is feeling like me, here are some tips & resources:

  • Spend less time shopping, more time volunteering
  • When buying gifts, make sure it is something that person wants, needs or desires
  • Know where your gifts are coming from.  If you're buying ethically, it's a double gift.  Say no to fast fashion, unfair wages, unsafe working conditions, and detrimental effects on our environment.  
  • If you don't have the budget to buy things, DON'T!  Get creative!
  • Think: Want, Need, Read, Do
  • Have a party for your loved ones!  Create memorable experiences.
  • 35 Gifts Your Children Will Never Forget
  • 5 Radical Ways To Purge Commercialism From Christmas

Let's give with purpose.  Let's not feel bad for not giving or doing enough.  Let's not stress about the little things.  Let's just spread happiness.  Habits change into character. Be encouraged.