This is a very common situation in the Western, and now also in the other parts of the world. Many parents, already deeply immersed into credit card debt, can't afford Christmas gifts for their children and relatives. Many of them know gift-giving has been burdened on this society by the commerce-driven culture. After all this has become the shopping season.
They are pressured by the culture, by our society, their friends, peers, relatives and their expectations.
We all know Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ into this world. Even for non-Christians this is still a Christian Celebration. For example. We respectfully call the Jewish celebration Hanukkah. When you look at the Menorah you call it a Menorah. We don't call it a candlestick. Do we? In the same way, this holiday is called Christmas and it's all about celebrating the birthday of Jesus, one of the most important Christian feasts.
Yet, our secular culture pushes everyone to shop and shop non-stop. All the retailers hope to improve their bottom line at the expense of Christmas. As a result, frustrated parents and many people, who can't afford to be part of this gift-giving competition, suffer desperation and a sense of failure because in their minds they fail the competition and lose.
In reality no one should lose. Christmas is not about shopping and wrong expectations. It's about hope, light and celebration.
Parents! If you cannot afford Christmas gifts it's OK. Tell your children that Christmas is not about shopping or who gets what. It's a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But you should have done this before, years ago, each year, so when the time comes like this year, and you can't afford gifts, your children would be prepared.
Still it's not late. Here is what can be done.
If your children are adults, tell them who is who and what is Santa. One day soon they will know. My oldest son is 10 years old and he already knows from school what is Santa.
But what do you say the little children. You can simply tell them that because of bad weather this year Santa and his helpers have been working really hard because of the population growth. Tell your little children that he has called you and said they will be few weeks late. I am sure children can understand this.
After Christmas prices will sharply fall and you can probably afford one or two small teddy bears that are only few dollars each.
This meant to be a little sincere help to millions of parents around the world who really work very hard to make ends meet and are desperate and angry at our shopping-driven culture that has made the Christmas a "holiday" and replaced Jesus Christ with Santa and his gifts.
On the other hand you can prepare better for the next year. If you are a Christian, build up your relationship with the Lord and bring that faith life into your family. Offer the friendship of Jesus to your children. Let them wait for Him next year to celebrate his birthday and not set the wrong expectations of who gets the biggest present. If you are not a Christian, just explain your children that this is a Christian feast and that according to the Christian faith, it has nothing really to do with gift giving.
Merry Christmas everyone.