Giving Reduces Stress

Today’s Verse:   Acts 20:35  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Waiting, waiting, waiting.   It seems we are always waiting for something.  At this time of year, we are waiting for Christmas.  Some of us with great anticipation, and some of us with dread.  Some of us just wait for it to be over.   It is a very stressful time of year.   There are so many expectations on us and sometimes it just becomes overwhelming.

Years ago, our family made a decision to quit giving gifts to each other.  It had become such a stressful project to try and find something special.  We really all had all that we needed, and we bought what we wanted throughout the year.  So why did we feel such pressure to produce at Christmas time?   (Full disclosure– I feel the same way about Valentine’s Day and birthdays – you shouldn’t have to buy presents or flowers just because it is the social convention.  It means much more when you do it “just because” without there being any special “required” occasion.)

We had a discussion with our sons, and we all decided that we would adopt families for the holidays.  As a family, we picked out some needy children, went shopping together as a family, and wrapped and delivered the gifts as a family.  We loved the idea of giving instead of receiving.  The kids learned a valuable lesson about the real meaning of Christmas – “amazingly it’s not all about me!”    We still make donations to charities in the name of others instead of giving gifts that no one really wants or needs.  When you give to others, it is so much more rewarding than trying to find that one gift that your husband / wife / child / sister-in=law, etc will maybe never use.

This small change has removed the stress of the holidays for us.  We are so cheerful and filled with joy at the thought of providing Christmas for the less fortunate. As Christ tells us, we need to give to the poor.  For us it is a joyful time to remember that Christmas is the birth of Christ, our Saviour, and we try to celebrate him instead of us.  Wishing all of you a very blessed Christmas and a Christ filled day!




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