There is an annual uprising amongst many about making Christmas more meaningful. So many people have their own idea of what that means for presents, traditions, itineraries, Satan (sp?) Claus, and meals. Seriously, I’m just kidding. I have nothing against Santa. I just wish he had visited my house when I was a kid. I can guarantee you that you will hear at least one person suggest that “we make Christmas more meaningful” this year. What about Thanksgiving, though?
Thanksgiving has become about family, football, and gorging ourselves with food. Counting Santa, that makes four things I am not against in this post. We say it’s about gratefulness, and we back up that claim by going around the table and making sure everyone says one thing that they are thankful for. I’m not saying that no one is grateful for anything, and I certainly am not saying that I am not. I am saying, though, that Thanksgiving seems to get a pass on its superfluity. You know who else thought this, and actually who provoked these thoughts? Todd. He came to small group last week with a unique idea. What if we choose something we are thankful for, wrap it, and open it on Christmas day? We would then appreciate that thing much more. It would enhance our gratefulness. So, we decided to do it.
Last night, we had small group, and we all brought something we were going to wrap (either physically or symbolically). Even the kids participated. Here’s what we chose and why:
- Sarah gave up her debit card, because she is often more frustrated about the money we don’t have than content with what God has provided us (like just enough for her to stay home with Jakob).
- I also gave up my debit card, but I had a different reason. I take our money for granted. If I want a pop, I go buy one. If I forget my lunch, it’s okay, because I can just buy something cheap, which adds up with my memory. I want to be more grateful for our money and waste it less.
- Todd and Amanda went in together. They gave up their TV. Their boys were not a part of this, so they get to keep their TV, which is in the basement. Rumor has it that when they unwrap their TV on Christmas day, it will be bigger, better, and with a flatter screen.
- Jeff H gave up surfing the internet. He will only use internet for two things between now and Christmas: e-mail (he’s a school teacher and cannot ignore parents for a month, although he’d probably like to) and hockey coaching. He’s a literal coach, not a fantasy coach, so it’s legit stuff he’s using. No internet fun for him.
- Amy gave up going out for coffee. She has not gone crazy and given up caffeine entirely, but she cannot go out for a latte to Starbucks or Biggby’s. If she wants coffee, she has to make it.
- Jack (6th grade) gave up electricity in his room, because he likes to hang out in there and uses it constantly. He also never shuts off his light.
- Ellie (5th grade) gave up her favorite American Girl dolls. From what I understand, this is a huge deal for a young girl. I’m personally creeped out by most dolls, so I was delighted to see them at small group last night.
- Zach (5th grade) is probably the most extreme in giving up his bed and pillow. He has chosen to sleep on a cot in his room till Christmas.
- Logan (2nd grade) gave up his favorite video game, and if you know many second grade boys with a Nintendo DS, you know this is like giving up your livelihood.
I’m sure it’s not going to be easy. I know I already dread grocery shopping, Christmas shopping, and going to the gas station, but I’m a big boy. I can handle it, and I will be really glad when I get my card back. I’ll probably go out and fill up the gas tank right away.
What would you choose to go without?