My neighbor was so upset because financially she can not have the type of Christmas she is use to having. Her hours at work was increased; however, her pay was not. She was told my her employer that at the start of the new year she would be furlough so her company would not have to let anyone go. She said she was not in the mood for Christmas. She just wants to stay in the house and do nothing.
Oh no, I thought. Our capitalistic society has caused so many people to forget the reason for the season. I began to ask her about her favorite Christmas memory from childhood. As we talked she did not mention anything about gifts, shopping or expensive decorations.
I reminded her, her own children need some special Christmas memories too. Taking time to celebrate Advent doesn't cost any money--all you need is a Bible. It doesn't take much money to bake cookies together (its cheaper to make them from scratch). Its not expensive to rent a few Christmas movies from the library, most kids do not know about the old classics. Many television stations have Christmas marathons during this time of year. It may not cost too much to visit a relative in your area and let the children play together. Pull out those board games and have some fun. Share some of your childhood games with your children. Take time and find some free Christmas displays in your area. My family enjoy driving around different neighborhoods and looking at lights. We like to rank the best and the most tacky.
Parents can make children feel excited about anything. Take a walk at your local park through the woods and then come home and enjoy hot chocolate. If you don't have enough money for toys contact Toys for Tots or other local churches and leave your pride at the door. There are so many agencies and people who want to help your family make Christmas special.
Philippians 4:19 reminds us, God promises us riches, but not of the sort we're used to pursuing here on earth. The riches God blesses us with are spiritual riches, namely the grace of Jesus Christ and the spiritual benefits of following him.
Can you share some of your inexpensive family traditions?