Christmas has come to mean different things to different people. For me, my favorite parts are the family traditions. Holiday baking is one of my favorite things to do! My mom eagerly shops (on a budget of cash that she’s pocketed-away religiously all year long) for “the perfect gift” for each of her children (and now grandchildren) and her husband. Kyle’s mom buys a prime rib that Kyle spends all morning on Christmas Eve preparing for our late lunch. Kyle and I come home late on Christmas Eve (sometimes even in the early, early morning on Christmas Day) and open our gifts to each other by tree-light in the quiet of the night.
This year, the economy is such that individuals – myself included – have begun to look at Christmas a little differently. Americans spend a ludicrous amount of money on gifts at Christmas! According to Advent Conspiracy, we spend an average of $450 BILLION dollars at Christmas. Pardon my french, but that is one hell of a credit card bill. (Visa and American Express say THANK YOU, America, for your interest payments and late fees! Please enjoy those frequent flyer miles that you can’t afford to use!)
So this year the leadership at Journey Church has challenged us to take a look at how we’re spending our time, money, and other resources during the holiday season. We were challenged to “spend less and give relationally”. Kyle and I chose to spend our time baking cookies for someone who moved to town recently and paying them a visit. And tonight, we’re spending an evening making tacos and watching “The Muppet Christmas Carol” with friends in their home. Both of these things cost us almost nothing — merely the cost of the groceries. But we were able to spend time with people. Something we love to do anyway, but we’re free from the idea that we need to purchase some “trinket” of a gift that will ultimately end up in the trash. And we got to be a part of the Welcome Wagon for some new people in town. And we get to have meaningful conversation with people. The benefits are countless!
Is there anything life-changing about cookies and a welcome visit? or tacos and a silly Christmas movie? Absolutely not. But there is life in relationships and community. And being intentional about pouring into relationships – however close or distant they may be – is always a good thing.
This Christmas, we’ve been blessed to be a part of a Conspiracy of kindness. I challenge you to do the same.