Summary: So Jesus' birthday is celebrated by going into debt for stuff when He came to set us free? He only got a manager and people who loved Him. Why do we need stuff we cannot afford?
Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
"No holiday should manipulate you to the point where you are going into debt just to so show someone that you love them." - The Lion's Roar
We do have the wrong perspective, folks. Keep it simple, Saint. He was born in stable, not a mansion. Two years later He received funds to sustain the family in Egypt and for the return. It was probably enough to get Joseph's shop going in Nazareth.
I require nothing from my family. I am happy if they love me all year long, not just on my birthday and other gift giving days. I have too much stuff as it is that they will have to get rid of after I am gone. Why generate more work?
It is too late for this year, but next year put all the focus on Him. Give a gift card of a reasonable amount, if you must, but donate a sheep or goat to poor people overseas, help the homeless here or do some special work of love for Him in your community as well as your Church. WWJD? Really, practically nothing of what we do as we add so many things that detract from "the reason for the season." If you do such things, do more and do the other things less. One fellow wrote that we commit the sin of gluttony most on our holy days.
Take an honest evaluation of how much time, money and effort you put into things that really do nothing for Him, the birthday Boy. He told a rich man to give it all up to follow Him. While it is not a sin to be rich, is it right to go into debt and be more improvised to maintain a facade of wealth on His birthday? How whacked is that? He came to set us free, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.
If you want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, invest it in souls and people that have needs instead of the many wants that break or get boring after a very short time ending up in the trash or back of the closet or bottom of a jewelry drawer. Some will at least end up in a resale store that supports a pregnancy center. Yet, the item may have cost $50 new and they may mark it at $10 making a $40 waste of money, but it will help a good cause.
We are a country of excess and extremes that are graphically reveal ed on all of our holidays/holy days. Find other ways to show love and bring joy that may actually be valuable the soul and bring more happiness than something from Neiman Marcus.
It is easier to give stuff and cash, but giving ourselves to Him and others is going to be in our account in Heaven while not breaking our bank account here. No hitch on a hearse, so change how you use your purse and that dangerous card. Teach your child that happiness is not in stuff. Don't give them everything they want and make then spoiled, entitled brats that may never be content.
Dear poor parents/single parents, do not let this holiday make you feel like dirt because you cannot give your kids all they want or maybe nothing that they want. You love them and care for them all year. One day, not like like it is marketed to be will not hurt them. It means you can teach them contentment and what is really valuable, their salvation. The rest are just frilly details that mean nothing in eternity.
Be sure they know that you love them and He loves them and you will be richer than those in hock up to their nose or with presents up to their knees. Better to have an empty tree or no tree at all and have a heart full of love surrounded by those you love and who love you. If you think of it, that is all Jesus had on Incarnation Day. Why do we need more?
Since my birthday is September 30th and Scripture shows Him as being born during the Feast of Tabernacles, which is fitting since He tabernacled with us. I am going to celebrate Incarnation Day. I need to start planning now. I am going to dedicate the whole day to Him. I just looked and the 30th is on a Saturday, which would make my Messianic friends happy to do it on a Sabbath.
I may find a homeless person to feed/clothe, knock on doors seeking to find unbelievers to win and hurt sheep to heal and whatever else i can do, but it will all be Jesus focused as a true present to Him. I will ask Him what He would like me to do on His birthday and by His grace and power I will do it. I will not go into debt to do these things.