I found, instead, beautiful wealth, abundance, and amazing decor. Is this Christmas? Are these portrayed families surrounded by beautiful centerpieces and exquisite gift wrappings truly happy? Perhaps they are temporarily satisfied with this glossiness of our modern "holiday season," but how can you truly celebrate the Joy of this season without the baby Christ?
I wanted to shout, "Where is Jesus?" Can I celebrate my daughter's birthday without my daughter? Sure, I can invite lots of people, buy wonderful decorations and a beautiful cake, and even be happy with the festivities, but without my daughter, something very important is missing. Without my daughter, there really is no reason to celebrate!
Have we forgotten Christmas amidst this material "christmas?" Have we forgotten what happened to our world the night God entered the human race? Have we forgotten the billions of people who have not heard of Jesus Christ?
Here are only some of the startling statistics on our western consumerism:
- $462 billion was spent during the 2010 holiday season, between November 1st and December 31st.
- U.S. homes spend the first six months of every year paying off their Christmas debt.
- Photos with Santa in American malls generate $2.3 billion dollars each year.
- Visa cards are swiped 5,340 times per minute between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Only 44% of 7-11 year-olds regarded Christmas day as a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
- On average, the western consumer spends over $500 on Christmas.
- Some 800 million people in the third world are left hungry and undernourished. This includes 200 million children under 5 years of age.
So what can we do now? Is it hopeless? By no means. Each of us, as individuals and families, can set a Christmas budget and find new ways to have a frugal Christmas.
GFA is a Gospel-first ministry, acknowledging that above else, the world needs Jesus Christ. GFA also gives 100% of your donation to the mission field and/or place specified.
If you haven't yet, I encourage you to order and read GFA's founder, KP Yohannan's free book, Revolution in World Missions. It will alter, for the better, your perspective on our American wealth and our part as western Christians in today's world and Great Commission. This book has affected how I spend every dollar.
So starting now, as the commercial holiday season winds up, may we be wise stewards of God's money and may we not forget Christmas.
Do you have any frugal tips for gift giving, food prep, decorating, etc... to share with us? I'm interested in putting together some tips for Fru-Gal readers (and myself)!