Christmas Conversation #1: How do you keep the spirit of giving in your Christmas shopping?

Christmas Conversation #1:  How do you keep the spirit of giving in your Christmas shopping? Maybe it’s just me and this is a horrible, awful thing to admit.  Maybe you’ll just shake your head at my selfishness and sinfulness when you read this…or maybe you’ll breath a sigh of relief to have someone else admit they struggle with it too.  But, in either case, here goes:  I confess that when I go Christmas shopping all full of the spirit of giving and eager to find that perfect gift for a loved one, I more often than not come away finding a gazillion perfect gifts for ME instead.  And, even more terrible, awful – sometimes I even buy them… for me.  Even if I manage to get away with my money still in my pocket, still safely earmarked for little Suzi’s gift, I am not entirely unscathed for I often find an attitude of discontentment has settled on my spirit.  So many beautiful things that would make me look so much prettier, or my life so much better…and, sigh, I must do without.  Poor me.I think this is why I have never really liked to shop.  I know what it does to me.  But I’m not sure a complete policy of abstinence is really all that practical when it comes to shopping, especially at this time of year.  And though I would like to say I could be all Martha Stewart-like and make all my gifts, even that isn’t a cure-all.  I would still find myself in a craft store purchasing supplies – and for an artsy-craftsy kind-a-girl like myself, that’s one of the worst places to either lose control or find myself in utter discontent with my limited budget. So this raises the question:  How do YOU keep the spirit of giving in your Christmas shopping?  How do you manage to keep a thankful, grateful, generous heart when you are bombarded with materialism, enticing displays, and so many “great sales” to make things so affordable?

We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions…and you can even share your struggles…you are not alone!

Check out our other Christmas Conversations:

We have 25 different “conversations” going online and we’d love to hear your thoughts!  See the list below and add your two cents when and where you can, and benefit from the collective think tank as you go!

  1. How do you keep the spirit of giving in your Cristmas shopping?
  2. How do you bring Jesus into your shopping experience?
  3. What do you think about Christmas music?
  4. What’s the worst Christmas song and why?
  5. What’s your best idea for using a Christmas movie to spark a conversation about Christ?
  6. What’s the worst Christmas movie and why?
  7. What’s the most meaningful Christmas tradition that your family has?
  8. How do you get your kids attention (or even your own) off of the gifts you get?
  9. How much is too much when it comes to giving your kids gifts for Christmas?
  10. What are your favorite service-oriented things to do during Christmas?
  11. Is Santa a naughty or nice Christmas tradition and why?
  12. What Christmas traditions have you chosen not to follow, and what have you replaced them with?
  13. If you’ve chosen to do Santa, how can you use him to point your kids to Jesus?
  14. Do lighting displays add to or detract from the real meaning of Christmas?
  15. What kinds of gifts can you give to non-Christian friends that make Jesus attractive?
  16. What are your best ideas for using Christmas to spur conversations about Jesus?
  17. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas – Does it really matter?
  18. Should we boycott stores based on Christian principles during the Holidays?
  19. How do you deal with the Grinches in your life this Christmas?
  20. How do you deal with Christmas as a joyous family time when family is hard? 
  21. What do you know about the Biblical concept of hospitality and how do you apply that during the Christmas season?
  22. How do you find spiritual refreshment in the midst of an exhausting season?
  23. When do the excesses of Christmas cross the line from communicating the lavishness of God’s love for us to fostering excess, greed and pride?
  24. How do you respond to feeling like someone else “does Christmas better” than you?
  25. What is the most meaningful Christmas memory you have?