Perspective and Truth – Guest Post

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The season of Christmas is upon us.  I look forward to this time expectantly.  It’s a time of family, friends and traditions:

  • Baking with my daughter;
  • Sending out Christmas cards;
  • Going to the Christmas tree farm to find that perfect tree;
  • Sitting on the couch with my husband watching our kids decorate the tree;
  • Watching Christmas movies with my family, the same ones we have been watching for the last 20 years together; and
  • Gathering with friends.

I begin looking forward to Christmas in the middle of October, by then I just can’t contain my excitement.  I begin wrapping presents and planning out my Christmas baskets.  I figured everyone felt the same way I did – boy was I wrong.

In September I saw a FB status that said “less than 90 days until Christmas, how does this make you feel?”  I was shocked by how many people responded:  disgusted, makes me want to puke, sick to my stomach, I don’t even want to think about it, UGH.  I felt compelled to comment:

“How sad it must make Jesus that His approaching birthday makes many people disgusted or sick.  Jesus’ birthday was never meant to cause people to stress or go broke buying gifts.  The gift of Christmas is that our Savior was born.  It’s a time to spend with family and friends.  It’s not about buying gifts or spending money. “

It’s time to change our perspective and embrace the truth of what this season is about.  Was Jesus born so that people will max out their credit cards buying gifts that most of us don’t need?  Was His birth ordained by God so that we lay awake at night stressing what to buy for our children?

This year our son, who recently moved out, asked to go with us to pick out the Christmas tree.  He has never gone with us to get the tree before, so I was very happy that this year he decided to join us.  On the way to get the tree, he made a comment to us “I felt left out last night when I saw on FB that you were watching Christmas movies.  That’s why I wanted to come with you to get the tree; I didn’t want to feel left out.”  I responded “Why did you feel left out?  We watch Christmas movies every year and you never wanted to watch with us.  Same with the tree, we go every year and you have never cared to go with us before.”  Our son said with a changed perspective “It wasn’t important before when I lived at home.”

Several years ago we changed two things about Christmas:

  1. Gifts are bought with cash only – NO CREDIT CARDS!!!
  2. Each of us gets three gifts that reflect the three gifts Jesus received at His birth.  If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s more than good enough for us.

Christmas has become so much more for us as a family, the focus is not on the gifts but our traditions, our time together and memories.  And the added benefit is we don’t dread the mail come January.

How can you and your family change your perspective about Christmas?  What is a new tradition you would like to begin with your family?

“‘8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'”

“…And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

~Luke 2:8-14

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vh9I am delighted to have my dear friend, Veronica Herzing, sharing with us today. We met for the first time at She Speaks. God has truly blessed me by bringing her into me life. Be sure to take the time to thank her for sharing her heart with us today. To find out more about Veronica, check out her blog, www.veronicaherzing.com

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19 thoughts on “Perspective and Truth – Guest Post

  1. Pingback: Perspective and Truth | Simply Me!

  2. I love the idea of three gifts. It really made me stop and think how easy it is to let buying gifts get out of hand. I love all of the family traditions that we do, but your gentle reminder of what is really important was well said.

    • Thank you Ivie. The way the gift came about is I was in a horrible car accident that kept me off work for a year – we could only afford three gifts and when I saw that the kids didn’t think any different of Christmas, it hit me that I was the one who needed to change my thinking. Thank you for taking time to read my post and leave a comment. May your Christmas be blessed

  3. Veronica,

    I just love this. Amazing. I was probably one of those that posted – really already? My reaction is more to the ads and commercialization that Christmas has become. I want to get through Thanksgiving, remembering all God has blessed me with, being bombarded with “holiday” ads that just want to suck the money out of my wallet.

    You and my sister would get along beautifully. Once the Christmas season is upon us – she is like a little child, anxious and excited. And although growing up we never recited the rosary on Christmas Eve, it is something she looks forward to every year now, something Dad started the year Mom died. It is a great tradition she is passing on to her three little ones (although not so little anymore).

    I truly wish you and your family a Blessed Christmas this year.
    And you also, Jamy. Thank you for having V guest blog today.

    Blessings,
    Catherine

    • Awww Catherine thank you so much. I am like a little kid – I even get so excited I have stomach aches lol. I agree. I want to celebrate each holiday and be present in them before the next one bombards me on tv. The commercialism has gotten crazy.

      My favorite part of the holiday is the whole family (in-laws) attending Christmas Eve Mass together.

  4. Veronica- you just nailed it. Yes and amen sister. Simply beautiful:) we are starting the tradition of making Jesus a Birthday cake with our young tots this year. They love birthdays and squeal and clap whenever we sing the happy birthday song. They capture the excitement and joy of the season perfectly. Like you, this is how I want them to view the season. You both know the year I have journeyed through- it is time to celebrate amen? There is nothing better than to celebrate Jesus. Merry Christmas my dear sisters! Love u both:)

    • Oh Tracy – AMEN!!! It is a time to celebrate even though the sadness of missing our loved ones is there too. I love that you will be starting a new tradition with a birthday cake for Jesus. We did that too when our kids were little – it was their favorite thing to do. Merry Christmas my sweet and beautiful sister. Love you lots.

  5. Beautifully spoken thoughts and some wonderful ideas! Your son’s new perspective is so encouraging. It shows that he is now recognizing the importance of family memories and why we choose to do some of those “holiday” things. God bless you and your beautiful family with a restful and Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you Gail for stopping by and for commenting. I thought that same thing when my son made his comment, he was realizing just how important family and traditions are, it made my momma’s heart smile. May your Christmas be abundantly blessed.

  6. Beautiful post Veronica… and so true! As a little girl, I was like you. I looked forward to Christmas all year long/1 It was my favorite time of year! I still love it, but as my insides changed, the magic of Christmas that I felt as a child is now gone… but I have realized, for me, that ‘magic’ was for the wrong reasons. It was Santa Claus and presents. Now I love the family get-togethers and the decorations… and I still love the presents 🙂 But Christmas is about so much more! And I think as soon as that will sink into my programmed mind, the ‘magic’ will return… and for the right reason! A friend of mine does the three gift thing… we tried one year, but it was hard! We have been considering it again this year. I want my children to truly understand the meaning of this season.
    Awesome about your son! Maybe not being at home really is a good thing!

    Thanks to Jamy for allowing Veronica to post this! Love both you girls!

    • Ah Kandace, it’s my dear prayer that you once again find the Christmas magic. I love the presents too – especially the ones that are homemade with lots of thought and preparation!!

      It is hard to do the three gifts – it also makes you really concentrate on what you are giving for Christmas. It helped our kids to think about what they really WANTED for Christmas. As my daughter says “you don’t want to waste a gift spot for something that you may not really use or keep for years and years.”

      Love you lots Kandace!!!

  7. This hit home this morning. I have really been struggling with the Christmas spirit this year. It’s been an especially tough 2012, I lost my Mom in May and my Father in August. This is a great reminder that it’s not about all the “stuff” but about celebrating the coming of Jesus.

    • Oh Lori, my heart breaks to hear that you lost both of your parents this year. I lost my mom one month after Christmas 10 years ago and the ache is still there. I have suffered two very unexpected deaths myself this year. I pray that you will find peace that your parents are together and celebrating a heck of a Christmas in Heaven with Jesus this year. May the memories of past Holidays soothe your heart. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. God bless you Lori.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful post reminding us to return to the SIMPLE things about Christmas!!! I too absolutely love this holiday. It is the only one for which I decorate the house. My kids LOVE it too.

    And I love that you watch your kids decorate the tree. I still have to orchestrate the decorating…though I get better and better each year letting go. This year one of my kids broke a precious glass ornament that held wonderful memories for me. It fell because she did not secure it to the tree after I said to do so. The old me would have pouted and spoken harsh words telling her to be more careful. But this year, after her sweet apology, I said “that’s okay, we have lots of other beautiful glass ornaments.” It felt good to just let it pass. If only I could do that more often!!!

    Thanks, Veronica, for reminding me of what is REALLY important at Christmas and always….family and being together.

    • Thank you Wendy. It took many years for me to get here and actually Wendy last years when I really let it all go – all bc of your teaching in HJ about being Mary instead of Martha. I quit trying to have perfect decorations, perfect memories, and perfect family gatherings. Now I just enjoy and I have NEVER had glass ornaments – ours are all droppable lol

      Thank you for stopping by my friend. Love you!!!

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