It happens every day, every season, all year long. But it seems that it is even more overwhelming at the holiday season, when we are moment by moment bombarded with what I call the “Message of Stuff.” Every direction we turn, we are being told that we need one more thing, one more gadget, one more electronic wonder, one more toy, one more “must have” fashion accessory. And, of course, if we all just stopped buying “stuff,” that would not be good for our faltering economy. But perhaps we might want to try to rediscover the blessing of a simpler time, a life filled with “stuff” other than the material possessions that we all have overflowing from every cupboard, closet, dresser drawer, and garage.
So many families have struggled over the past couple of years just to keep up with a mortgage or rent payment, a car payment, and keeping our families clothed and fed. It is at moments like this when we come face to face with the reality that life can go on even if we don’t have all of the “stuff” that we see all around us. And perhaps it is a blessing in disguise when we suddenly discover that we cannot fill every moment of our lives with the entertainment of “stuff.” It is then that we realize that there are some things in life that are so much more important, and truly to be treasured, than mere “stuff.” Here is where we begin to understand the blessing of simplicity.
Here are a couple of ways to look to the future, with the goal of discovering the blessing of simplicity:
* Make a determination to downsize your Christmas giving. It really is not as difficult as it might sound! Really, when you think about it, most of us already have everything that we truly “need,” so when it comes to gift-giving, perhaps we can really focus on giving something that is an expression of love for whomever is receiving our gift.
* Focus on giving gifts from the heart, instead of from the wallet. Really. Make a batch of peanut brittle for Dad, a pretty pincushion for Mom, and handmade totebag for Sister, a new pillowcase and matching pjs for Big Brother. It’s a place to start!
* Find a way to give to those in need. A community pantry or Christmas basket program, or Operation Christmas Child, or Toys for Tots . . . . anything that helps us remember that there are so many with so much less than we already have.
* Keep our Christmas decorations simple. This will definitely minimize some of the time pressure and financial stress of the holidays. Handmade decorations may not be “elegant” but they definitely are treasures! Making our homes beautiful is all part of the “magic” of Christmas, but try to think of ways to simplify the season, and perhaps you’ll actually find time to relax and truly celebrate the Reason for the Season.
The blessing of simplicity can become a part of life every day of the year. Christmas is a great place to begin to discover that blessing, and trust God to touch your heart and your home in the simple joys of the holidays. Blessings to you and your family from all of us here at Ruby for Women!
You can find ideas and instructions for homemade Christmas gifts and ornaments at the following websites:
We will be posting more ideas for creating your own Homemade Christmas over the coming weeks, with links to other sites where you can find everything you will need to inspire you as you discover the Blessing of Simplicity!