Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Simpler Christmas

The Christmas season is here again and with it comes the year's most excessive consumerism ever. The buying frenzy begins on Black Friday (for those in the U.S.A) and continues all season long.  It's also the time for racking up credit card debt and getting all stressed up with decorating, parties, shopping, spending etc,. etc., etc...Arghhhh!

Christmas isn't about presents...Jesus was born in a manger bereft of even the most essential physical comfort, so why has the celebration of His birth turned into so much materialism, and the gift-giving and decorating part have become so important that the essence of Christmas becomes secondary?  Last year, my family and I have decided to cut back on our Christmas decorations.  We did not put up our big tree, instead I got a table top tree which we decorated with LED lights which uses less electricity.  It was enough to put a fascinated smile on our little girl's face.  We will use it again this year adding ribbons and small balls.


Like last year too, we will have more Belens (Nativity sets) around the house and an Advent wreath which we used during the 4 Sundays of Advent.  We will not put any outdoor lights except for a small lighted Christmas bell and we will be donating our big Parol (Christmas Lantern) to the parochial pre-school of our parish. 

 
 

As with the more simple decorations, we have also decided on a no gift Christmas. In other words no buying gifts for people who don't need them, that includes ourselves.  Instead, we will share what we have like donating used but still good clothes, shoes and toys with others in need. Personally, I am making my own little gifts for close friends and giving away things that I have accumulated through the years but barely used.  There are other things we can do that will give the season more meaning, for example:
  1. Volunteer in a Christmas feeding program
  2. Spend more time with family, create Christmas memories to last a lifetime
  3. Share your home with orphans or abandoned children
  4. Prayer cards or offer masses
  5. Help family or friends by providing them with a service you can give like babysitting, run errands, etc
  6. Donate to worthwhile charities
  7. Adopt a family and give them a happy Noche Buena
  8. Give food/toy packs to children living in the streets
I'm sure there are still many other things we can think about but the point I am trying to make here is that people celebrate Christmas for the wrong reasons.  Isn't it time to focus on Jesus?  It is His birthday after all.





    22 comments:

    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      Mharms

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    2. Thank you for the greeting and for visiting!

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    3. You are right, Christmas is not about just giving presents and celebrate it spending lavishly. Christmas is about worshipping God for he has been so faithful to us all throughout and let others know his great love for us by helping others in need.

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    4. Beautiful Christmas decoration.. Merry Christmas:)

      Visiting for CW! Hope you can visit mine too..

      http://www.heavenly-dreams.com/whack-a-mole/

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    5. yeah. i am a shopaholic but when i get to see people with almost nothing, my conscience slowly kills me. guess, i'll need to plan the same as yours.

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    6. Christmas means gift giving.I only buy gifts for my kids and that is it.They are waiting for this special day. And with others, I already gathered all the stuff,toys, clothes that we don't need for charity. All is ready to be drop in one of the Goodwill outlet near our place.

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    7. I think that's the real spirit of Christmas, keeping it simple and do away with the commercialized nature of it that requires large spending. I guess its more of the people you spend it with or the people you reach out to that makes the season special.

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    8. Start your Christmas plans as early as possible so you won't get into rush. Marami kang mabibiling mura. Yes , simple decors will do.

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    9. I agree with you Ms. Maritel. I actually wrote something about these same points, and of having a Quality Christmas back in College. It got published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer's YOUNGBLOOD section. If you're interested in reading the whole article, you can check here: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20071222-108339/A_quality_Christmas :) :) :)

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    10. Christmas for me is FAMILY and I will be a little bit sad this coming xmas as I am 6k miles away from home but on the other hand I am starting my new life with my husband here in the UK.

      Very nice inspiring post! love it!

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    11. that's a nice way of having Christmas. There's a number of ways in celebrating it and this is one.

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    12. Last year I celebrated Christmas at HOUSE OF HOPE (Kids with Cancer). It is very uplifting because when I see them struggling with their sickness, I can see in their faces how much LIFE means to them. That we have to appreciate LIFE no matter what.

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    13. You are right! We tend to ignore the true meaning of Christmas and the reason why we celebrate it. As adults, we should instill to our children's mind the very purpose why we look froward to this season.

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    14. I love this season. Time flies so fast, andito na namn c chrissy! Thank you Lord!

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    15. This is a timely reminder that we can all put the holiday spirit to better use through simpler preparations and with more concern for others.

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    16. you've made a good point there... :) i love the nativity set... i'm always a fan ever since i was a kid. it feels so Christmas.

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    17. A really fast pace time we have! It's ber months once again!

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    18. Every time I saw this kind of stuff, I always miss Christmas in the Phils. It is just fun to be with family during this time.

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    19. wow! great ideas for xmas! i must have some soon! xx

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    20. i agree with you that christmas is not all about the material things and decorations. we should allot some effort on other things like what you have suggested in reaching out others... that is the true spirit of christmas.

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    21. That's very nice Doc. No gifts to those who don't need them. Yeah, sometimes, the culture is, people tend to spend more for gifts for people that they try to impress, even if these are not liked at all.

      Merry Christmas Doc! :D

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