Some families are easy to fall in love with. Without having met them, you can respect them (and maybe want to be more like them). That's sort of how I feel about the Bowling family. Recently Mom Bowling wrote a post about Christmas that perfectly expresses my heart on the matter. READ IT HERE. It's the second half, not the part about cinnamon ornaments. =-)
"I want to honor Christ. I don't want our society to be my standard. I want what Christ preached to be what I measure myself up to...otherwise, it's watered down and it's about me."
I wish our family was as far as the Bowling family is in the path towards making it all about Christ. I am so conflicted! I grew up in a great Christian family with the standard Christmas practices (gifts, church, gifts, gifts, and more gifts). I definitely knew WHY we had Christmas, but our Christmas wasn't solely (or even predominantly) about Christ. [This is not a poor reflection on my parents, as I don't think many American Christians in that time even considered that we shouldn't be celebrating Christmas in that way!]
As a parent Eric and I have tried to make Christmas more about Christ, but certainly we have a long way to go. HOW do we Christians ignore the verses in the Bible that tell us to sell our possessions and follow Christ? Why do we take some verses literally, but not others...not the ones that are inconvenient. Talk about an "inconvenient truth!"
This is what I'm struggling with. I want to have a heart that feels okay not giving my children any gifts at Christmas. I want to have children that are okay with that. I want to hit a January 1st where I don't feel like purging my excessive lifestyle because the year before wasn't excessive!
But here we are. We not only gave gifts to the kids...we gave more than we have in the past. We didn't "find time" to study advent each day this year. We didn't reach out to our community as much as we did last year. I feel sort of like we went backwards. And still, there is this part of my mind that is whispering to me as I write this, "It's not wrong to give your children gifts!" And I know it's not WRONG, but is it BEST? I want BEST. I kind of doubt Jesus would sit at home with his kids and lavish them with gifts. He'd be out giving to others.
I sort of like the challenge that I heard from one preacher. Spend as much on charitable giving as you do on gifts for those in your family. Good, right? Except maybe I'd like to get where I spend way more on others than I do for my own family.
Ahh.... post Christmas musings...