It’s that time again. The shopping craze has begun. There was Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now I hear of super sales, extended holiday hours at various stores, and reports of how many more shopping days until Christmas.
In years past the Christmas shopping season was a time of anxiety for me. This was caused by me being afraid of rejection for not getting the perfect gift, being sucked into overspending, and guilt over being more focused on the mall than on the manger. Battling crowds and searching for parking spaces at crowded malls increased my angst.
Somewhere along the way I’ve made peace with Christmas shopping. Our whole family has tamed down our gift-giving. We avoid giving presents just for the sake of giving. We don’t go wild on our spending.
The truth is I rarely go to the mall during the Christmas season anymore.
I thought of four things I’ve done that have given me peace at Christmas and delivered me from my wrong attitudes toward shopping.
–I invite the Lord into my gift-giving.
–I ask God to purify my motives.
–I determine to bless others as I shop.
–I celebrate the true joy of Christmas—Jesus.
One way my shopping has changed over the years is that instead of being sucked into mall mania, I go to local stores owned by people who live in my area. I’ve done this for years, but on TV recently there has been an ad campaign for this called “Shop Small.”
There are small gift shops near my home that I count on for unique Christmas gifts. I can walk into these stores and give my money to individual shop owners that I get to know rather than to corporations.
Recently I met a lady who makes beautiful jewelry. I bought many one-of-a kind items from her at reasonable prices. I was blessed to not have to fight a crowd to make the purchases (I looked at the jewelry in her living room). It seemed to make her day or maybe even her week that I liked her jewelry so much. I even went back a second time to get some more.
This year I’m determined to enjoy the Christmas season. Too often excessive shopping has robbed me of that joy.
I also want to honor God with how I spend my time during this season. This verse comes to mind:
So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 AMP
Yes, I’m still giving gifts, but I want to give so much more. My goal is to love others and spread the love of Jesus to everyone who crosses my path. That’s a gift I can give that money can’t buy.
How about you? Are you being dragged into the Christmas shopping frenzy? How about taking several steps back and inviting God into your Christmas quests? Peace will follow.