Christmas is around the corner with the very cold breeze. We've been told that it's the coldest year here in Thailand. Malls and business establishments have started decorating for the highly commercialized Christmas season to attract more customers and therefore, more profits. But for us, we revolutionize our perspective of spending this season.
Since my kids were born, we as a family have never celebrated Christmas Day on the 25th of December. I explain to my kids that the Bible doesn't specify the exact birth-date of Jesus Christ. But we do celebrate the New Year for family thanksgiving for the past year and for welcoming the coming year with prayers and wishes. Thus, our holiday spending is more reduced. I also don't go for adorning the house with Christmas decors such as tall, shining Christmas trees as we were told once in the church about the pagan origin of such a practice. While Christmas decors brighten up the feeling for the season, our focus may be diverted to the material things around us making us tend to forget the real meaning of Christmas.
On our vacation with the kids this Christmas (I booked air tickets on promo), we plan to spend some time for rural kids who do not have opportunities to receive gifts and eat special foods. We've been doing this since my kids were still small. We don't usually spend it in the city where we live as most of the kids around us can afford to have lots of foods not only during parties. Urban kids also receive gifts often so their joy of receiving gift is not much as those with the rural kids who rarely receive one in their whole life. Thus for us, it's more meaningful to celebrate the season by letting our kids experience the joy of giving simple gifts to the the lowly ones and feeding them without expecting for something in return. It is opposite to the concept of exchange gift and usual merriment our kids have in their school or in the place they live in. It is also easier to please the lowly kids so the price of the gifts we give them is not much. I remember my friend, Ms. G, complaining of a rich girl whom she gave an expensive gift but did not appreciate it. This Christmas season, what we need to remember is the birth of Jesus Christ on a lowly manger, not in a palace or an attractively adorned house.
What I'm saying here is, we can simplify our celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. It is not on the lavishness of the food we prepare and the gifts we exchange or give but it is how we express our thankfulness to God for sending His Son to earth to save us and to show us humility, simplicity and kindness to others without expecting something in return. So my spending plan this season is guided by these principles. I will have my children experience (again) the true meaning of Christmas with some gifts and food to the needy. We can buy more gifts and make more lowly ones happy by cutting decoration budget, unnecessary travels, new clothes and toys, and lavish food for us during the season especially at these times of continuing economic crisis and increasing global warming issues.
We can avoid over-drop in our budget if we reasonably spend this holiday season, within our budget. And we can make a difference if we follow the true reason for celebrating Christmas.
Please check out more interesting Marriage Monday posts related to this at Chrysalis by e-Mom.