Arts & Culture

Can We Afford to Simplify the Holidays & Skimp on Christmas?

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If you are like many families, you have boxes of Christmas decorations that only get used for a month out of the year (unless you are one of those people who get the decorations out after Halloween and combine with Thanksgiving). You might even continue to add to the decorations every year.

You might have collected over twenty different Santa figurines or even thirty-plus Snow Village homes and shops. There may be wreaths for every window of a house and almost ten different little Christmas trees all over.

Especially the fifty different ornaments your family has collected along with the hundreds of Christmas lights, one set for the “family-room” tree and one for the “front-window” tree.

“Dressing-up” the house is a ton of fun and much enjoyment can come from it. It can be fun for the whole family and bring you together.

But…

But is there a time when we should stop and reverse this trend of collecting and storing many of these items?

Many of us have storage units we pay $1,000 a year for to put away items we do just fine without most of the year. I bet if you took a look at many storage units, the items in the unit aren’t worth as much as a year of rent for that unit.

Proverbs 15:16 says, “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.”

This is an age-old argument that “wealth is evil,” “materialism is Satan’s hobby,” and “you should give up all your stuff and live in poverty.” I’m not telling you to go sell all your stuff, but I am asking, “Does this stuff cause us more trouble and cost us more than it is worth?”

How many hours are spent taking out all the decorations?

How many hours are spent putting them away, while telling ourselves “we’re just going to use less next year.”

How many times do we have to yell at the kids for almost breaking something, or even actually breaking it? The stress of making sure everything looks just right.

We are blessed here in America, and praise God for that! Does this mean that we should continue to take his blessing and bless ourselves, or should we take his blessings and bless others instead?

What if…

What if we took all those hours spent putting up, taking down, and “fixing” the decorations and spent time playing games with the kids or visiting someone we haven’t talked to in a while?

What if we take that $1,000 we spend on a storage unit and give it to someone who can’t even fill up their kids’ plates for dinner?

I’m not saying give it all up! I’m saying, be willing to give it up, to clear up space, and be on the look-out for how you can do that.

This Christmas, let’s celebrate the Lord come to earth, in a manger, not in an inn because, remember, “There was no room.”

Editor’s Note: On “Flashback Friday,” we take a look at some of IFWE’s former posts that are worth revisiting. This post was previously published on Dec. 22, 2015.

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