Rethinking Christmas: Tough Decisions

Have you ever had to say “no” to something you just love? To memories that would last a lifetime? I did that today, am feeling super-sad.

A precious friend invited me to join her at our favorite local cafe for dinner and a concert with one of our favorite music groups. My heart so wanted to join her that I said “yes.” My hubby said we’d work out the finances. I commmitted and began planning my outfit.

Then…I began budgeting–for our bills, Christmas, our upcoming trip to New York, our annual Nutcracker night out…and I realized I just had to say “no.” I was on the verge of tears calling her, knowing I was going back on my word, knowing I was saying no just because of money.

Used to be I could find a few dollars for anything I wanted. I’d strut into a store and pick up a $50 bottle of perfume just because it smelled good. Now, I maneuver the bottle I already have sideways and upside down to pump the last spritzes out, and get out my Christmas list.

I’m not bellyaching. I hope not, anyway. I’m just verbalizing a few thoughts you might share with me. A couple dashed hopes you might empathize with. I know I can only weather this because of the Hope that is in me. What turns my head aside from grieving these earthly losses is the One who holds eternity in His hands, the Memory Maker Himself.

Do you know Him? You sing the carols about the baby Jesus coming to bring us joy, but do you know Him fully grown, taking your punishment for sin? Do you know Him risen, having conquered death? Do you know Him who reigns for eternity? If not, I’d love to introduce you to Him. He’s a good friend of mine and He’d like nothing more than to meet you.


9 responses to “Rethinking Christmas: Tough Decisions

  1. Hey Deb…Jen here. Since I don’t really feel comfortable sharing my last name and there are a bunch of Jens in MOPS and everywhere else I’ll have to just trust that you’ll figure out which one was in Kip and Barri’s group with you. Anyhoo…it’s funny you should mention that concert because I had to say no to going tonight as well. I was offered a free ticket, but I have to stay home with the kids tonight because it’s Jay’s small group night. I just started reading your blog a few days ago, but I wasn’t sure I knew how to tell you who I was. I love what your doing sharing your ideas about Christmas.

  2. Oh I hate those moments, when you know you have to go back on your word and yet God is completely in control. Of course, after doing it for so long you quit saying yes in the first place. Today I was blessed by the opportunity to go grocery shopping with a friend instead of with my kids–it was awesome and fun and God blessed it wonderfully. After time you stop noticing all that you don’t have and start being grateful for all that you do, but it is hard to get to that place.

  3. Hey Deb– Had to agree with you with this post. I had all the crafting supplies in my cart the other day at Walmart to make these decorated rickrack pillows I had seen. Then I started tallying up these little pillows were going to cost to make and I realized… WASTE of money! There are lots of crafts and activities we can do without spending that kind of money for special materials. I have a whole craft box we can pull from, so why not just do that? This was a good reality check for me to not get too caught up in the craziness of the season!

  4. Sorry you couldnt go. Things will most likely be better by next Christmas. Regardless of our finances we are blessed and the Babe of Bethleham is now our King. He dresses the lilies of the field and He will take care of us too. He really is a memory maker and He is my Creator. Yes, I know him!

    Heres to a wonderful Christmas for you all.

  5. Deb,

    A few posts ago, you asked why people come to visit your blog. This post is EXACTLY why I come to read. Though I do not know you personally, it is like fellowship for my soul. You post on things that I can empathize with, and you share your love for Christ and His steadfastness. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  6. I can relate to your post. We have to say “no” quite a bit to many things that we’re invited to. We try not to look at this as a “loss.” I keep telling Anna not to think about the things she doesn’t have but to find happiness in all of the things that she does have. Thank God our friends keep asking us, even after we’ve refused invitations many times–I guess that means that they’re good friends, right? Enjoy the holidays, Deb.

  7. I know all too well what you’re feeling here. I also used to be a little more flexible in the $ department….but not now. I feel bad about it sometimes, even wishing I had the things I think I want. I find myself hating to say ‘no’ to my kids for nearly everything at the store, ‘no’ to many events and kid birthday parties, living on a strict budget…. But, I also know that I am thankful for what I do have. It may not be what my fantasy holds, but it is just right for my heart. Focusing on Him is always the best way to work through our problems….He gives us exactly what we need.

    As Julie said….you are fellowship for the soul and I appreciate your honesty! It makes us feel not so alone in the midst of our own personal struggles 🙂 Have a great week, Deb!

  8. Deb,
    Not only do I LOVE reading your blog… I love reading the comments people post. You are such an inspiration…
    …in so many situations I feel God loving me thru you!
    You are truely awesome!
    Missed being with you today at Applewood.
    Can’t wait to see what you have in store for all of us!

  9. Pingback: Rethinking Christmas: Accepting Gifts « As We Walk

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