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Christmas Unwrapped

By Frank Bondurant
Published 11/26/2013

"Boycott Christmas!” I gasped, staring with disbelief at the words on my computer screen. My browsing had led me to a website bidding me to join the “Christmas Resistance Movement” and rebel against the consumerism and materialism of the holidays.
 
In my heart, I reflected on my own family’s holiday rituals, and I had to admit, for the most part, that we, too, had fallen into the excesses of Christmas consumerism. Except for my daughter, Grace. She had recently broken the ranks by announcing that, in lieu of gifts for herself, she wanted family and friends to make donations so she could participate in a spring break mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where she could serve, give and meet the needs of others. Her example was a powerful reminder to me about the real reason for the season.
 
The Blessing of Giving          
Acts 20:35 says: “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (NKJV).
           
This year amidst the steady, pounding drum beat of holiday consumerism and materialism, a different spirit vies for our attention—the spirit of giving. Recent scientific research has drawn a strong link between giving and happiness. Giving makes us feel happier and can actually improve our health. When we give, whether it be donations of money, random acts of kindness or service, we are happier, healthier and enjoy a greater sense of well-being. Many people will give during the holidays, and they will be happier because of it. Will you be one of them? When we give to others, our own hearts become “unscrooged.”
           
I’m not ready to boycott Christmas, but I hope above the din of the holidays, I will hear and respond to God’s call for me to be a giver. He desires that I answer it, not only during the season of giving, but long after the tree and lights come down. May this holiday be a starting point to a life of year-round giving, resulting in a truly happy new year.
 
Frank Bondurant serves as vice president for Ministries Development for the Columbia Union Conference.


More articles from the December Visitor:
It is More Blessed to Give: Maddings on a Mission
Are Childfree Couples Accepted in our Church?--coming soon!
Articulo Especial de Visitor: Mejor es dar


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