My point exactly!! Unless it is something off the charts, we don’t really remember what it was and it becomes just part of our stuff. Ebay reported in 2011 that “come early 2012 there will be upwards of $1 billion in unwanted gifts resold on their website alone.” (fervr.net)
Unwanted gifts! More stuff! When do we say enough is enough? When is that we look at our lives and realise that we have more than enough stuff. That no matter where we look we have things stored in drawers, closets, garages and storage units. Stuff we don’t even remember is there.
Christmas has become the most stressful time of the year rather Than the most wonderful time to the year like the song by the same name that Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote, as we try to prepare and buy gifts.
Why do we continue to participate in this vicious cycle of Christmas? Think back to the first real Christmas, a little baby born in a manger. Why was he born? To give us the greatest gift ever, salvation!
This year, four mums got together and started a revolution in our families. We are claiming Christmas back for Jesus. We are not making it about the presents we get but rather about what we give to Him. We are asking, “Jesus, What would you like for birthday?” Isn’t that what we do for everyone else’s birthday, we ask them what they want?
Our western culture has placed so much on the Santa Clause of Christmas, about the stuff we are going to get, rather than what are you going to give. So when looking at Christmas it should be threw those eyes. Spend some time praying and asking Jesus “what would you like me to do for your birthday?” My three year old son told me that Jesus wants socks. Okay, Jesus you want socks, the homeless shelter is going to get some socks from us this year.
It is time we evaluate the whole side of giving, thinking it has to only be gifts. What if instead of gifts to people, who have everything, we gave it to the poor and needy on behalf of them. We share the love of God by giving hope to someone who has nothing, who lost everything in an earthquake or flood. Or we give time to a shelter, or a homeless person, or a run-away teenager.
Instead of presents for most of my adult friends and family, I have made a home-made gift and I am giving them the gift that keeps on giving. I am either giving them animals, fish ponds, or businesses that they don’t actually get to keep but rather someone more needy than them gets, or a book called Revolution in World Missions by K.P Yohannan to get them thinking about God’s greatest gift to the world.
For the kids, some will get excellent quality second hand toys and for others I will be taking them out and do an activity with them, to create memories that last rather than a toy.
The revolution is multiplying
We have picked out four activities that we are all going to do together, that is 4 mums, 14 children aged 1 to 8 and sometimes the dads (depending on their work schedule). Our four activities are:
1. We are going to go to a less fortunate part of town and we are going to bless the people there, by handing out food and hot drinks vouchers for a local coffee shop
2. We are going to go to an elderly home to sing carols to the elderly, play games, listen to their stories and deliver some homemade goodies to our new friends.
3. We are going to go to the Local children’s hospital and bring some glitter tattoos and add some sparkle to the kids and their family. Asking to pray with the families and hoping to bring some hope into their situations.
4. Making and delivering Christmas hampers to a few of the single mother’s in our area who live on less than $24,000 a year. They are struggling to put food on the table never mind an amazing Christmas meal and presents under the tree. They need help. Who better to help then the church?
Would you like to join us in the Revolution?
Please share your ideas at www.facebook.com/pages/Revolutionize-Christmas/357671730988682?fref=ts
Some ideas on starting your own revolution
• Ask Jesus what he wants for his birthday and do that
• Take a homeless person out for dinner
• Volunteer at a soup chicken for the homeless
• Spend time at an elderly home
• Sponsor a child in the developing world
• Give a gift that keeps on giving by buying a gift for someone in a developing nation (ex. Samaritan’s Purse, Gospel for Asia, World Vision, and Compassion, to name a few)
• Make a hamper for a needy family and drop it off at their door
• Instead of buying heaps of gifts, buy a couple for a few members and give the rest away and tell people you are doing that and encourage them to do the same, find a great cause to give you money to (eg. this year we are only getting one present because we are buying a well for a village in Africa)
• Invite someone you know who is really struggling with life for a nice dinner
• Make your own gifts this year and give something from the heart
• Give a wish to a dying child
• Find someone who is in need and take them to the grocery store and tell them that this year’s Christmas is on you
• Sign up for a mission trip
• Hand out Coffee cards to prostitutes with a note of hope and genuine love
• Talk with a local youth shelter and see what their needs are and show up with Pizza for everyone one night (or whatever it might be)
• Pray and get words for people you don’t know and pass them out while you are shopping
• Adopt a family/person who isn’t from your area who doesn’t have any family near, have them come spend Christmas with you
Genevieve Wilson is married with two children who served with YWAM for eight years in Brisbane and now serving in mission in Canada as a modern day abolitionist.
Genevieve Wilson's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/genevieve-wilson.html