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How You Can Have a Full Christmas

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  • 2015 Dec 21

Kristen Welch has written a timely article titled How to Have a Full Christmas, on her blog (in)courage. She states that the heart of Christmas is when we give to those who can’t give back, and when we empty ourselves of our time and resources ”because that’s how we get full.” But…she admits her family hasn’t always celebrated Christmas this way.

Welch relays a story of watching her children rip through a myriad of gifts that she had gotten great deals on. What didn’t seem like an excess at first soon turned into one, as her children grew tired of tearing paper off one package and moving on to the next. She writes, “There were some gasps of delight here and there, but with a room full of stuff, I don’t think I’ve ever felt emptier.”

Most people will say that they enjoy giving more than receiving, but what would happen if everyone was opening piles of presents around you and you had only one or maybe none to open? Welch describes a time when she and her husband were young and set a budget for each other. She sat there quietly while he opened the five presents she had wrapped for him, amidst other family members opening gifts. Finally her husband pulled an ornament off the tree that contained a pearl necklace. “Oh boy. I had a lot to learn. I didn’t just want something; I wanted more,” says Welch.

And when we want more…we usually want others to have more too; if you are a parent, this means your children. Welch explains, “My buy-in to the notion that I needed more of the best for myself and my kids didn’t satisfy me. Its pursuit actually left me feeling emptier than when I had less.”

Then Welch took a trip to Kenya with Compassion International, which shook her to her core and helped her reevaluate what she really wanted in life. She learned that she had entitled her kids because she herself felt entitled. But what she saw on her trip were families that didn’t seem to be entitled to anything, not even food or water. She expresses,

I realized how small I was. I saw my glaring selfish tendencies and my spoiled nature, and I wanted to live differently. I don’t always know how to combat the struggle against entitlement in my life or home, but I need to try.”

Welch wisely states that if parents want less-entitled kids, they have to be less entitled themselves. And that goes for everyone, not just parents. If we want to see less entitlement in the world, we have to be less entitled. Having more is not really a solution at all…”There are some holes that stuff just can’t fill,” writes Welch.

Welch leaves us with a poignant reminder:

This Christmas, no matter what’s under your tree, remember the key to a full Christmas comes when we allow the Gift of Christmas—Jesus—to fill all the empty places in our soul and lives.”

To read Kristen Welch's full article please visit her blog (in)courage. Contributor Heather Holleman writes this in her article, The Greatest Seat at the Holiday Table:

As we think about this amazing seat with Christ, our holiday changes indeed. When we are seated with Christ, we stop comparing our Christmas to any other family because we know God has ordained us for this family, at this table, and he has “good works prepared in advance for us to do” that are specific for us. We find meaning and joy in whatever life looks like because we trust Jesus for our lives. Even more, when we’re seated with Christ, we worship Him and take our eyes off ourselves. In fact, because we’re experiencing intimacy with Jesus, loneliness and disconnection fade and allow us to focus on blessing others. We can stop obsessing over ourselves and consider how we might serve and love best. When we’re seated with Christ, we realize that God sovereignly places us right where we are for a reason this holiday season, and we can trust that He knows what He’s doing. Finally, when we’re seated with Christ, we can reiterate to our heart that at all times, God’s peace, power, hope, and love are available to us in endless supply.”

Related Articles:
The Greatest Seat at the Holiday Table
How to Seek Christ in Christmas
5 Ways to Avoid Christmas Burnout

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Liz Kanoy is an editor for 

Publication date: December 21, 2015