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Choosing a Joyful Christmas

CS Lewis observed years ago  that Christmas had become a commercial enterprise, but you can choose to ignore materialism and joyfully celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Do you join in what CS Lewis called the “merry-making and hospitality” of Christmas or in what he described as the “annual symptom of that lunatic condition…in which everyone lives by persuading everyone else to buy things”?

Focusing on the love of God with gift giving centered around loving others, you can prevent stress and debt. Simply plan ahead, save ahead, and budget ahead.

Make your list and check it twice to prevent distractions and loss of time.

Accurately budget what you can spend. Then, use cash or pay all charged items at your first billing.

Research shows people spend over 20% less using cash. Use large bills –  they’re psychologically harder to break.

Or don’t spend any money. Here are some gift  ideas that you can make for very little expense:  Plant bulbs in pots, cook, craft a handmade card, chop and deliver firewood, or pass down family heirlooms. Make your own gift cards for house cleaning, yard work, meals, or babysitting. How about the gift of chauffeuring kids or teaching skills like knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, woodworking, photography, driving, or car maintenance.

Experiences – rather than things – often give greater satisfaction. So, cook together, go to parades, play games, work puzzles, attend a concert, zoo, or arboretum. The ideas are endless.

Don’t forget to budget for holiday meals and involve your guests by inviting them to bring a dish.

A little planning and creativity can make this holiday one you will long remember!

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9)

This Christmas season, encourage generosity and faithfulness in your family. In a world that says “I need it all,” help your family to say “God owns it all.” Visit to find helpful resources you should consider giving to your loved ones. That’s