Christmas is About Giving

For the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we spend time as a family talking about how we integrate our faith into the Christmas traditions (sort of an Advent approach) that we call the Colors of Christmas. It's always interesting and really helps us stay centered on what's important to us as a family and as disciples of Christ. So by the time Christmas Day rolls around, it is truly the most relaxing day of the year for our family.

We start the day by sleeping in (yes, even when the kiddos were little).We have a big breakfast (this morning it was Phyllis' famous French Toast, sausage, fresh fruit ... and grits, per my request). We watch the Disney Christmas parade (great performances today by Toby Mac, Colbie Caillat, and Yolanda Adams). Then we open gifts one at a time. Our Christmas morning never ends until around 3pm. Very relaxing.

It is probably not obvious, but I was laid off from a corporate gig in October 2011. Financially, this has been a very tough year as I've struggled to replace even half the income I had last year. We've had to make some massive adjustments, but we still have all our needs met, which is certainly more than we might deserve, and more than many around the world are experiencing today. We don't take that lightly. And in the midst of this adjustment, friends and family from all over took it upon themselves to help us out this Christmas. We didn't ask for help. We didn't even broadcast any "need." Much of that help even came "secretly." All told, the overwhelming majority (probably 90+%) of the presents under our tree this year came from the generosity of those around us. Without that generosity, our relaxing Christmas morning would have been much shorter (though no less relaxing or enjoyable). It's humbling in a way which words cannot possibly convey. And it has really helped me continue to reflect on this "holiday season."

There is truly something "magical" about this holiday that makes it stand out on the calendar. Think about it. Why do you celebrate Christmas? What is it about this holiday that makes it so special? Maybe you can identify with my personal A-HA! moment ... Christmas sparks a reversal in all of us. We all love to get gifts. But Christmas makes us want to give. Commercialism can't cause that. Consumerism is the opposite of altruism. And Christmas, unlike any other day of the year, awakens in each of us a desire to bless someone else, whether a friend, a family member, or a stranger. Our family happened to be on the receiving end of that Spirit this year, and it has made me realize just how powerful that reversal can be. Christmas is truly about giving.

More than 2,000 years ago, the Son of God gave up His home in heaven to come live among men, born of a virgin in a little town called Bethlehem. That, I believe, is the Spirit of Christmas that has managed to permeate every culture and context, even if not always recognized. May the Spirit of giving, initiated by God the Father and carried out perfectly in His Son, Jesus Christ, fill your heart for 2013 and beyond, and may we all learn to be just a little more giving in the coming days, weeks and years. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.


  1. I love it BUDDY BOY! :) Right-on, as usual. So right-on in fact, I hated to do it, but I had to open a window to let some of the RIGHT-ON out of the room. A man can only take so much of it at a time. :) And now, I have a big choice to make. Should I "comment as" a GOOGLE ACCOUNT, LIVE JOURNAL, WORDPRESS, TYPEPAD, AIM or OPENID? Hmm...what should I select from the drop down menu? How did this get so complicated?