My family determined this year, we were not going to make Christmas a consumption fest. We were not going to run ourselves ragged or go broke buying gifts. We kept that promise and the blessings of the Season were amazing. By looking to the things He already had given us, we bagged all of our presents with last year's bags and tissue paper. By praying for his provision, we had a bottle of wine when we needed to bring something to a friend's party, we had the ingredients for cookies and cake so we could bring some food. When our son brought a friend home for dinner, unexpectedly, we cut the chicken breasts in half and shared the food we had on the table. The next morning when there was four eggs and three slices of bacon, I made 5 omelets and toast and everyone went away full and satisfied. As I am looking for wood chips, compost, and mulch for my new Back to Eden Garden, neighbors bag their leafs up and leave them on the side of the road, tree services deliver wood chips, and the neighbors who keep chickens say I can have as much manure as I want. I've desired a compost bin for a while and I now have free pallets to use to make one. Since the birth of my Sister's first baby in 2007, I have purchased special ornaments for each child. This year, the $80 ornament was just not in the budget, I was sad about this and rationalized that I would buy it next year and he would never know the difference. I got a promotional email and for a limited time the ornament was 50% off! It was still the most expensive present I bought this year but I was so proud of it. I was so thankful to the Lord that I was not embarrassed over my lack of funds and I was so blessed to be able to keep the tradition. Looking back over this year, these are just a scant few examples, but I think you get the gist.
In all of the above small situations, I could have looked at what I did not have, I could have bought what I wanted on credit, I could have tried to provide for myself but I would have failed. Instead, I made a choice to appreciate what I did have and the experience was so much richer. I felt blessed, I felt as if I was a good steward, and the excitement of Christmas has returned to my heart.
So dear friends, I implore you to make a paradigm shift in your thought life and learn to appreciate what God has given you. It will take some creativity, it will take a humbleness, and it will give you back more than you can ever imagine.