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Monday, December 14, 2009

Gift Giving on a Budget -Intro - Part I -The "spirit" of Christmas

Gift Giving on a Budget - Part I

This blog is going to get broken up into 4 parts ..the intro...the tips in two parts...and then some interesting Christmas facts.

In the past I have given many classes on a variety of subjects - including gift- giving on a budget. This year I wanted to share the class with my new home church and while I was preparing the class the Lord lead me to push a step further... so what started out as a one page class - turned into - as the Lord would have it- an in-depth class on gift-giving and the "spirit" of Christmas. We all had a blast in the class and I hope you enjoy the tips as much as everyone else did!

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So what is the "spirit" of Christmas?

Well, most of us have heard over and over about how its about honoring the birth of Jesus and with rote memorization can speak on the importance of Christ's birth...even more I hear of people saying how they celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with their families ii I'm not knocking anyone, but the Lord led me to a scene in a movie - "The Grinch that Stole Christmas"(the original cartoon & book) of all things and had me ask...

How many of us; after hours of holiday shopping, picking out the perfect gifts - after hours of putting up the tree and placing every tiny detail of our holiday decorations up on the walls and the outside of the house etc... and after buying and preparing the food for a fine Christmas feast to share with our families, would, upon awakening Christmas morning, to find it all gone - grab our children and our neighbor's hands and go outside with singing and rejoicing for this glorious day?? (remember they did not cry and scream and call the police first)

Let's take it a step further... how many of us upon learning who the culprit was - because he turns himself in - would, in the true "spirit" of Christmas - forgive him and have him sup with us that evening? For those of you that answered- "I would!" - let me commend you - you really have this Jesus thing down - for the rest of us - we got some re-thinking to do:

Ask yourself:

Why do we(as a society) give gifts at Christmas?
Why do I give gifts at Christmas?
Do I enjoy Christmas or has it become a chore? (If it's become a chore – it's time to re-evaluate)
Who is on my gift-giving list?
Are these the people I truly ”know” & care about enough to give a gift to?
What is my “true” Christmas budget? By true budget I mean how much you can reasonable spend without: borrowing money, going into debt, foregoing paying your bills and/or tithes and/or falling short financially for the months ahead
How can I make this Christmas more meaningful – for me and those I love?

What are you favorite Christmas memories? Why?
How many actual “gifts” do you remember? Why?
What made them(it) important to you?
Was it the actually gift?, The reason for the gift...,what the gift meant to you.. or
Was it the experience you associated with the gift?

Now try to recreate that for someone you love...

Be Thoughtful
Be Creative
Be Cheerful
Be Generous, but also
Be Wise/Mindful

Let's be conscientious giver's and gracious receivers!

Be Blessed!
Part II - below...

1 comment:

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