How to Survive the Christmas Season
by Meray Mansour
When we talk about Christmas what comes to mind? Or rather what should come to mind? The birth of Christ, Charity and spending time with family seems to be the obvious answer?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple anymore in 2018. “Christmas depression”, “Coping with Christmas” and “Holiday blues”. These are our headlines today.
This holiday season which once symbolised hope, joy and a time for gratefulness has instead become an untameable reminder of loneliness, financial burdens and family quarrels. How has the definition of Christmas warped so much over the last few years? Nowadays, it essentially represents the exact opposite of the birth of Christ.
As you walk into shopping centres, you get blown away by the number of “SALE” signs, you pick your self up only to stumble on the “Buy one get one free”. That’s ok, you dust yourself off and continue your way but an “offer ends 30thof Jan” comes at you with no warning and you’re left there on the floor staring at all those beautiful people wearing clothes, make up or gadgets, which you yourself could own for only 50% of the price. Of course, at this point, it wouldn’t be smart to turn your back on all those deals. Think of all the things you could have. This is the right thing to do and maybe along the way you’ll find something to buy for the family.
A present for you, and a present for family and friends. It sounds like a win-win situation.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt 6:24)
Is it really though? Let’s look at it from another perspective, what if Christmas hadn’t become a season of sales, what if the shops all closed for a week and what if Santa didn’t come this year. Maybe then we can walk around and see what we’re left with. Parents wouldn’t fret about having all the presents neatly wrapped under the tree, no one would complain about how stressful all the shopping for Christmas is and lastly, we would remember why we have these holidays in the first place.
We have commercialised Christmas so much that now generations have grown up not realising the foundation of it. It is a season to celebrate Jesus. This is the time, if not always, we remember what He did.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
Jesus gave. When given 5 loaves and 2 fish, He multiplied it for the people, when attending a wedding in Galilee He gave them wine even though His “time had not yet come” and lastly when they crucified Him, He gave them forgiveness “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34)
It might seem that after all of that, it is expected from us to never step foot inside a shopping centre again.
“The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are upon all His works” (Psalm 145:9)
In everything there are extremes and priorities. So rather than donating all our money we can start small. Change your perspective, instead of giving presents, give time. Buying a boardgame? OK now play with them. Buying a pair of shoes? take them out. Don’t spend all that money on Christmas decoration unless you plan on enjoying it with others.
So, after all that, how do we survive the Christmas season without any stress or anxiety?
Put yourself last.
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:24)