Faith · Intentional Living

Preparing your Heart for Christmas

Christmas is just a few weeks away, which is hard to believe.I think over the last few Christmases I’ve had, and I quickly begin to realize something.

I’m just not satisfied with the American version of Christmas.


Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had fun decorating the house and my desk at work, and I’ve bought gifts for everyone on my list. Next week we’ll have Secret Santa and a cookie exchange at work, and I’ve already been to one Christmas party.

I love the air of celebration and extra time with family and friends. But I could do without all the commercial trappings of Christmas. I would be happy….completely happy….using all my Christmas funds to donate to shop for a child or buy a cow for a family in India. And though I do enjoy giving gifts to my friends and family, I struggle with the expectations.


When I lived in South Africa, Christmas wasn’t a big ordeal. Not for me, nor for those in the village. I didn’t spend a Christmas in the village (it was prime traveling time), but I do know that most children received clothes for the holiday. And the day didn’t revolve around gifts, but rather a meal with the family and church services.

And when I celebrated Christmas abroad, it wasn’t even remotely about who had the ugliest sweater, best gift, or most perfectly place ornaments. I was about meeting new friends, sharing culture, and tasting new foods. Without gifts and cards and ornament collections and blow-up figures in the front yard….there was Christmas.

Without the stress of an American holiday, we celebrated Christmas together.

This year, I’m celebrating Advent. And it’s really for the first time. When I was younger, we sometimes had an Advent calendar, but our nondenominational church wasn’t “big” on the Advent season. And so, here I am, 25 years old, preparing for Jesus to come in the weeks before Christmas.


And it’s a blessing.

It brings perspective.

[Tweet “It brings needed peace and joy to this heart that’s tired out from a commercialized holiday season. “]

Anyone else with me? All you tired, weary ladies who are laboring to “make Christmas happen”….just remember: Jesus is coming! And that’s all the Christmas spirit we really need.


Today I’m linking up with Holly from Testimony Tuesday. Check out some great posts here!


5 thoughts on “Preparing your Heart for Christmas

  1. Hi there, Jen. I understand where you’re coming from. I’m much happier celebrating Christmas here in Turkey, where I buy fewer gifts for fewer people, and our celebration centers around Advent readings and a family meal on the 24th with guests! Next year I’ll be home in America for Christmas. It’ll be great to be with family, but I love the absence of commercialism here.

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