Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Christmas Guilt

Do you ever get the Christmas Guilt?  You know what I'm talking about, right?  It comes in lots of different shapes and sizes and rears its ugly head around this time of year.

It's that guilt you feel because you know how fortunate and blessed you are to not only have a warm home, but a Christmas tree that has gifts for your spouse, children, family, friends, and yourself under it.  Gifts that aren't necessities, but rather things that are wanted.

It's the guilt you feel because you really, really want a certain something, but feel bad because it's more than you usually want to spend, but you know you'd enjoy it.

It can be the guilt you feel because it hasn't been a great year and you really can't afford to give a lot of presents or any at all and you just feel guilty about it.

It could be the guilt you feel because your schedule is jam packed with holiday parties, shopping, and just stuff and you aren't experiencing the true Joy of Christmas.

The guilt could also come wrapped in a box that says "you aren't good enough as a mother or spouse" on its tag.  And when you open that box, inside are pictures of all the things that clog up your time and take time away from your family especially this time of year.

You might feel guilty because there are 101 things you want to get done to make Christmas even more special and meaningful and memorable for your family, but you just don't know how you can fit it all in.  (I definitely have a tendency to go into overdrive and try to do all these great things around every holiday.  I'll share with you my Christmas wish list of these sorts of things on Monday and how I'm going to tackle them guilt and stress free!)

This Christmas guilt rears its head in my life sometimes.  It's not a constant, but it's there nonetheless.  My family and I are blessed beyond measure.  As we shop for the latest and hottest "wants" for our kids, families, and ourselves, I sometimes just feel bad.  Bad because we have so much that we know we don't need.  For most of us in our family, gifts don't show love (I'm definitely one of those physical touch, quality time people as is my husband which works out well for both of us.  I will admit that I do like opening gifts though, but nothing that my husband or family could give me makes me think they love me more.), but that doesn't stop us from buying them.  (On a side note: I'm not advocating not giving gifts at Christmas.  We all like them and it's not something I want to stop doing.  I'm simply saying that sometimes as I'm shopping, I get hit with that feeling that there are so many people who have so much less and I'm buying another shirt that I don't need.  And this usually occurs when I'm trying to come up with things to add to my Christmas list, not when I'm shopping for others because I really do get a ton of joy out of shopping for things I think my people will like.)

I find myself pouring through websites to buy more, more, and more just to do it because it's Christmas.  I think of all the things I've been blessed with like my family, an incredible job, a home, a car, the ability to take vacations, and more stuff than I know what to do with and I think about those that aren't able to say those things.

This year, I want to give intentionally.  I want to give gifts to my husband, our boys, and our families that are things that they will enjoy, maybe not buy for themselves, and aren't bought just to have another present to unwrap.  I want to remember the True Meaning of the season and let that shine through all I do.  I want to be a good steward of what I have and instead of just buying to buy and planning activities to check them off a list, I want to use my resources and talents in the best ways that I can.

What do you do when the Christmas Guilt hits?  

1 comment:

Jana Faith said...

I completely understand what you mean about Christmas guilt. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle and buy, buy, buy. I hate that and I know what the true meaning of Christmas is. I hope this year is more about memories than it is about gifts. Thanks for sharing from the heart.