Monday, November 9, 2009

Spending Less...Impacting More

As the holidays are approaching, this time of year typically means being bombarded with advertising campaigns and the pressure to spend, spend, spend. And to a certain extent, I'll bet that 2009 will not be too much different than years past. However, I have been pleasantly surprised that a different message has broken through the clutter of communication - the message to spend less this Christmas.

In the last few days, I have come across a few different pieces of communication that are striving to get out a different message this Christmas, one that encourages Americans in particular to go against the norm and spend less this year. A video and compaign that I was especially impressed with and convicted by is the Advent Conspiracy (see the video!). Our church, Parkview Community, is promoting and participating in this campaign. Today, I read a great blog entry by our Executive Pastor on a related his thoughts here.

Reading and watching and hearing this new message has been encouraging to me, but it is also raising a lot of questions in my mind. It leads me to go back to the fundamental question of whether or not we should give gifts are Christmas. Is giving gifts to loved one a good way of showing love to them? If so, when are we going overboard? How much is too much? Coming from a family who loves giving gifts and being a person who really loves to give and receive gifts, it would be hard for me to cut this out of the holiday as a way of celebrating. This year, I hope I will be an especially wise steward of our finances...spending some money on gifts for family and friends, being creative in how I spend those funds and giving a lot of time/energy/money away to those who need it more than we do.

What do you think about giving gifts at Christmas? Share your thoughts!