If you’ve followed any news these last few weeks, you have no doubt come across stories about issues commonly referred to as supply chain problems. While it is 100% accurate to say that “some items are hard to find these days,” it is not true when people and politicians say “the supply chain problems will impact Christmas.” The supply chain problems will not impact the day in which we observe or celebrate the birth of Christ. The supply chain problems are impacting consumerism.
As explained by Merriam-Webster, “consumerism” means among other things a “preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods.” Unfortunately, too many people, including born-again Christians, judge Christmas by the number of presents under a tree. Sometimes, a person thinks that not giving or getting “the perfect gift” ruins Christmas. This mindset should stop, and soon.
What I just said is not new. It’s the same thing the Peanuts character named Linus tried to tell people in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It is near the end of the program -- when Charlie Brown asks if there is anyone who knows what Christmas is all about -- that Linus says the following:
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2: 8-14 KJV).
This may very well be the holiest thing on television each year, and it was made in the 1960s! If that was a problem then, it’s an epidemic now, one where people are hooked on trees and presents and food. The remedy is not to buy more of the toys your neighbors’ kids have, nor is to purchase a new vehicle for your spouse to “win the holidays.” The solution is a focus or refocus on Jesus Christ, who He is, why He came, what He wants us to do for him, etc.
I’m not saying we should not give gifts. I’m not saying we should be like some people and choose not to observe or celebrate the birth of Christ because “the Bible doesn’t tell us to.” Instead, tell your children and make sure they understand that God gave us the ultimate gift in Jesus, the son of God and that nothing in this world compares to Him and His love. If you are not doing so already, read the Nativity story with your spouse or children. You can also discuss how to be a blessing to people in your area that are struggling right now with (fill in the blank). Churches in my area purchase drinks and snack foods along with blankets and other items to send to residents at assisted living facilities. Many of these people have no one to send them gifts. Others are strapped for cash after paying for room and board. As a result, Christians where I reside try to be a blessing to people where they reside.
If and when you do these types of things and someone asks why, seize that opportunity to share Jesus, what He’s done for you, and why you want to share Him with others. When you do, you are helping to share the truth and apply scripture.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 KJV).
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 KJV).