5 Areas to Overspend On Christmas and Not Feel Guilty

December 2018
Jeremiah Krieger
This year has already been different for our family as Christmas season has kicked off. Usually, we have a good chunk of our gifts purchased by now, and the lights are hung on the house. None of that has started yet. It will eventually get done though.
The Saturday after Black Friday, I was walking though Walmart and noticed all the gadgets and gifts being promoted along the aisles. It’s funny how when you get older, some of the things that used to excite you become less important.
I’ve done the camping out early in the morning to get the latest fad at Best Buy. I remember making trips with my family to Grand Rapids when I was a kid. Circuit City was the place to go back then. One Christmas, we went there to get a VHS camera. It’s silly to think that these things can become so important and they become outdated so quickly.
Consumers spend lots of money on these few days of the year. Sometimes that thrill of purchasing is opposed with the remorse of a credit card bill that taunts you for overspending. That’s certainly happened before. It even happens with good church people like you and me, even while we tell others that Jesus is the main reason for the season.
However, as I have gotten older, I have started to morph in my attitude towards Christmas. As life goes on, and the realities of the broken world sting us each year that passes (like when a loved one dies or someone gets gravely sick) we are faced with the reality that these gadgets and gifts won’t matter in the long run.
What will matter when all is said and done are just two relationships: those with each other and those with God. Rather than overspending on gifts this year, one of the greatest things we can do is overspend in these areas of our life and we won’t feel guilty. Here is a list of 5 areas we can overspend with great confidence:
1. Spend time on you. That might sound weird at first, but it is important to take time to invest in your life during this season. Spend lavish time in solitude letting God’s word feed you and refresh you during this season of busyness. Get up early in the morning when the house is still peaceful and brew a cup of coffee or hot cocoa for yourself and spend time in reading, prayer and meditation. You won’t regret it!
2. Invest in your spouse. Sometimes our planning for gifts and get-togethers can overshadow actually caring for our spouse. We can become selfish with out time with deadlines approaching. Make sure to put times on the calendar to be with each other (emotionally and physically and spiritually engaged). This can be a cheap date as simple as driving around together to look at Christmas lights in our neighborhoods with Christmas music playing in the car. Dress nice and wear cologne or perfume because the romance might set the stage for other investments that evening!
3. Invest in your kiddos. Be present with your spouse. Be present with your kids. Play football out in the snow. Make snowflakes out of printer paper. Bake cookies together. Get on the couch and watch a Christmas movie. Put a puzzle together as a family or play a game. These are the memories that will be reflected on for years.
4. Invite others into your circle. This season can be a lonely time for the many singles in our community. We have many singles that live among us of all ages. Include them for a meal together. Make it a goal to send some singles a card and possibly invite them over to enjoy some family activities together. Make sure they have a place to celebrate on Christmas morning.
5. Serve with your church. There are many ways you can make a difference right here at FBC. Consider how God has gifted and wired you. Find a place to fit in to do something special to help the Gospel message be proclaimed through our ministry. If you are a sociable person, be a greeter. If you are hospitable, bring treats for Sunday morning. If you are a giver, we have financial needs that would be a blessing to have met this year. If you have been gifted with a singing voice or can play an instrument, consider doing something special for the Christmas Eve service. If you like to serve through projects, consider contacting a trustee and see what we can do to spruce up our Church.
There are many ways we can spend. Above are five ways I invite all of us to overspend. You won’t feel guilty. You’ll never say, “I wish I had devoted less time to the Lord and learned more about Him and His promises in my life.” You’ll never say, “I wish I had spent just a little less time with my wife or kids.” You’ll never say, “I wish I had given less to invest in God’s Kingdom by considering others who may be alone this season.” You’ll never ever say, “I wish I served with the church less and partnered together with Church friends to impact our community.”
We all have a limited number of Christmas seasons in our life. Let’s spend them lavishly on the areas that matter most. When all is said and done and we have celebrated our last Christmas season in life, it will be much more reassuring to reflect on our overspending in these areas instead of saying, “I wish I had been more generous with…” Let’s get together with our family and friends this season and overspend on these 5 areas together. We won’t regret it!
Pastor Jeremiah Krieger