As Christmas comes, a part of me is already expecting the celebrations, gifts and indulgence, while another part of me wonders how I can have a truly meaningful and satisfying December.
I mean, haven’t you ever found yourself having a good time but feeling empty during one of these get-togethers? Just think about how Santa Claus is the personification of Christmas for many cultures and how he represents merry-making.
The fact that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world makes all the difference for those who believe in Him, but have we experienced the lasting peace and joy that He can give? And if we’ve been blessed, how are we sharing that with others?
Let’s take a look at 3 don’ts that can help us celebrate this season in a way that comes closer to the true meaning of Christmas.
1. DON’T ANYHOW SPEND MONEY
For many people in Singapore, Christmas is a time of indulgence. They see it as a time to show love and appreciation by buying gifts and dining together at fancy restaurants.
Nothing inherently wrong with that. But if I were to look back on past Decembers and calculate the amount of money I spent, I would probably not be so merry. There were definitely better ways to spend that money than constant indulging.
In my family, there is a tradition to pool our money together during Christmas – the amount of money we would have spent on each other – and donate it to a charity organisation.
We also take the time to go to the supermarket together and buy groceries for the local needy using our Christmas family fund. The possibilities are endless: We could invite friends to a home-cooked meal or buy gifts from a social enterprise that helps the needy.
A tip: Portion out how you will manage your monthly salary! This way you will not feel discouraged and anxious by spending mindlessly on whatever you set our eyes (or stomachs) upon.
2. DON’T NEED TO BE A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
Culture tells us that we need to be busy partying or getting invites to parties, otherwise we aren’t cool or popular. But what if we treated it as a month to make space for the more important things in life?
During Christmas, I connect with my friends by sending them postcards. Instead of planning to meet all of my friends in one month and thereby murdering my schedule, I take some time to write to all of them.
Instead of simply being social, let’s aim to be sincere and authentic.
In my letters, I wish them a blessed Christmas, and I give thanks for the year. I write about how God has answered my prayers and protected me this year. I also wish them the best for the coming year, and invite them to drop me a message or even a prayer request once they have received my letters.
In The Plate Spinner: A Little Book for Busy Young Adults, Dev Menon suggests that the way to manage our time is to centre it on Christ, and filtering every activity through that lens. This is done by asking yourself how each activity or decision honours God or how that decision would affect eternity.
Instead of simply being social, let’s aim to be sincere and authentic when connecting to our loved ones this season.
3. DON’T ANYHOW USE SOC-MED
Comparison comes easily on social media about who had the best Christmas. Now, social media isn’t a bad thing, but we need to take it higher.
How about using your posts to share how you’ve been blessed, to give thanks for the year or even to invite people to share their prayer requests with you so that you can pray with them?
We have a unique opportunity this month to spread an unhindered message of love and joy to our followers and friends! So why not try our hand at digital missions and tell people what Christ really means to you this Christmas?
This can be as simple as thoughts on an encouraging verse in the Bible or our reflections on Christmas. I personally find that such efforts creates opportunities for conversation with my friends about Christ.
Are we aware of the unique power we have in our hands through social media to reach people? Let’s begin to use it for good and for God.
In this season, amidst all the festive stress and commercialism, let’s be reminded that we can have peace that only the Prince of Peace gives.