It’s not all about the presents, right?
At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
The stuff doesn’t matter. The stuff doesn’t matter. The stuff doesn’t matter.
The stuff doesn’t matter.
And, yet, here I am nine days before Christmas without having bought one present.
And, honestly, I’m starting to panic. To fear that this Christmas won’t be good, won’t measure up, won’t be worth it. That my kids will be unhappy, that I’ll fail Christmas, and that this Christmas will always be the one they talk about with “remember when?”
When the budgets really tight, and your husband is in the early stages of a new business, extra money for Christmas is scarce. I know there will be some….just not yet. And, for me, the planner, the one who loves to order all those on-line amazing deals, who pores over the mass of catalogs that stuff my mailbox daily, this is proving to be a true test of character. In fact, just several days ago, I let the tension of not having the stuff get to me.
I was negative. And crabby. And not looking at Christmas right.
I wanted stuff.
It’s hard. Society tends to define happiness by stuff. It can be extremely uncomfortable to find contentment and peace when life doesn’t fit society’s pre-determined mold. I’ve had to surrender my ideas of what a perfect Christmas should be. In fact, the Lord has been showing me just how blessed I am — without needing the stuff — and redirecting my attention on family, friends, health, and those in need. In need of what I forgot that I have.
We have a home. My husband is in remission. My children are healthy. We have food. Vehicles. Clothes. Opportunity. Freedom. Toys. Friends. We have stuff. I just forgot.
Today, we’ll pull out the glue sticks, paper, and crayons and make some homemade ornaments for grandparents. I’ll package cookies and handmade cards for friends. As far as gifts for my kiddos? We’ll get them. Maybe it won’t be as neatly tied and organized as I’d like, and that’s okay. Christmas isn’t about that stuff. Really.
I’m content in waiting.
And grateful for my Savior’s birth. Truly grateful.
That’s the stuff that truly matters.
I’ve felt the same way this Christmas, except it’s my mom who’s really been stressful.
It seems our family has gotten materialistic, and caught up in the whole ‘Gift’s are what make Christmas Joyful!’ theory. but that’s not the reason for Christmas at all, and I think the world has gotten caught up in that excitement. We’re doing something for the poor and homeless this Saturday, and I’m excited. That would be all I need to just make my Christmas, is to serve others. When I give, and make a relationship with someone, I’ll always have that in my heart.
Thank you for sharing, this was really inspirational and got me thinking, so thank you! (Sorry if it was a little long 🙂
I love your perspective. Not many Mother’s are this way. Praying for you during this time!
What a reminder! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “stuff”. But when I stop to think about what I have, instead of what I don’t have, the list is incredibly long. Thanks for reminding all of us!
Hang in there. Focus. Abide. Enjoy and count those blessing as a mantra. I can’t wait to see what God does for that heart of contentment. Thanks for your inspirational posts!
Beautiful post, Momma! Lotsa love…and some CARIBOUUUU! 🙂
I have been thinking along the same lines lately. I fell on Thanksgiving and was off my feet for about a week, during which time I watched alot -too much- TV. The incessant commercials drove me crazy, and I found myself freaking out that I wasn’t going to have enough time to run all the errands I would need in order to make Christmas happen this year. How warped is that? Make Christmas happen? Christmas doesn’t need any help to happen. It’ll come with or without any off the trappings I was so worried about putting up. Christmas, like Christ, will move in as sure as the sun rises, gentle and humble, bearing the gifts of grace and peace and love. May you and your family be richly blessed! Merry Christmas.
You’ve found the perfect mantra – the stuff really doesn’t matter.
My mind has been in the same place lately….with 5 kids, Christmas can add up quickly. And this year, as we are walking through cancer and medical bills, there just isn’t as much money as last. And God keeps reminding me that the “stuff” is societies’ way of bringing temporary happiness, defining the holiday away from what it really is….celebrating our Savior and all that He is. He gave His son who brings lasting peace and joy.
It is hard as a mom because we want to give it all to our children. I struggle with it on many levels. But in the end, they aren’t going to remember the stuff, but the time together as a family.
You are right, the stuff really doesn’t matter.
The test of a good heart is not just in not getting down or upset, but in being able to think through the tough situation with a spiritual perspective. You have done that, and pass with flying colors.
And the kids may not look back in a negative way on this Christmas if the gifts are scarce. Kids are pretty insightful. I’ll bet they will look back and see some of the positives that we parents sometimes over look: mom at home, playing games, singing carols, etc.
God bless. Hope your Christmas is a great one. wb
I have the same struggles Rachel. It is nice to know I am not the only one. I am trying to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas 🙂
I think the perfect Christmas is one with Jesus in it. And having read your blog for so long now, I know that’s the kind of Christmas you and your family will be having. When your children are older, I’m sure they’ll remember the memories of time spent and enjoyed together baking cookies and decorating the house far more than they will the things you bought them every year.
Another heart felt post! I love it! Yes, we often become slaves to our stuff and our society has tried to teach us that it’s all about our stuff and how much we have. Thank goodness, we do know better, but sometimes it is so hard to keep it “under check.” Thanks for such a great reminder of what this season is really all about.
Blessings to you my friend!
I have to go through this mental process every year it seems. And every year He provides no matter how long it takes me to get back into shape.
My husband sent me this video yesterday, and it’s pretty stinking great. Thought I’d share it with you.
http://www.ignitermedia.com/mini-movies/1905/A-Social-Network-Christmas?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=A-Social-Network-Christmas&utm_campaign=121510 (if that doesn’t show up as a link, just copy and paste!)
I’m so often thinking about too much “Stuff” but yet I buy more than the kids need. We are on a tight budget and it’s not always easy. Today I took the kids shopping for kids who may not have any Christmas if we aren’t willing to give up a little for ourselves . I’m trying to get them to understand that Christmas isn’t about a ton of presents under the tree. I’m hoping to stick to make Christmas less about the “stuff”. Your post is helping me to keep on track. Thank You!
Have you been peering into the windows of my life this week? I have become very discouraged over my lack of ability to provide “stuff” to my children this Christmas. My husband got laid off again last week and with the rent due on the 1st, it’s going to be tight. I have to consistently remind myself that it doesn’t matter…the stuff just doesn’t matter. We have a home to live in, we are healthy, we have love. We have JESUS!
No matter what happens in life, the Lord is always there! Praying!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…
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amen. it’s so easy to fall in the stuff trap. less is more! i’m certain your family will have a wonderful Christmas just being together and celebrating the Savior! oh, and i don’t think anyone would complain about getting cookies – yummmm. xoxo! hope you guys have a great weekend with the nutcracker!
You are right, Christmas shouldn’t be so much about “stuff.” I’m slowly learning that I am always so blessed without the “stuff,” which in my opinion, are just the “special little extras” in life that we get spoiled with on occassion. 🙂 Well, at least I am trying to think of it that way.
At any rate, this is my first time commenting to your blog, for I have been visiting, but not commenting. I am enjoying my visits here. You are welcomed to visit my blog if you desire.