Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Simplicity for Christmas (Thoughts on Faith)

Lately, one word has been running through my head a lot. Maybe it's because I'm on the verge of quitting my job and pursuing a healthier, happier lifestyle. Maybe it's the fact that my salary will soon diminish quite considerably. Or perhaps it's just an aversion to the rampant consumerism that is all around us, especially during this time of the year.


We've all heard it before, maybe so many times that the meaning has started to fade away. But as I look through holiday magazines, walk through shopping malls, and talk to the other people in my life I am noticing the overwhelming drive to buy stuff.

Black Friday sales, ads in the newspaper, emails from countless shops offering discounts and free shipping, billboards, TV commercials, etc. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if marketers someday figured out a way to make products speak for themselves. "You know you want me. Come on, you deserve a nice sweater for the holidays. Don't you love my sparkly beaded trim? Just try me on. I will make you feel SO SPECIAL!"

Ok, so maybe that won't ever happen (I hope not, I'm already a little creeped out). But the truth is, the reason I am celebrating the Christmas season is because of a tiny baby that was born in the lowliest, most simple of circumstances. His parents were not wealthy or well known, and they didn't have fancy, expensive gifts to celebrate his coming. All they had was each other and the knowledge of Who this child really was. And for them, it was so much more than enough.

Simplicity isn't a new concept. In fact, if anyone knew how to live a simple life, it was Jesus Christ himself. So I'm trying to follow His example this year, and move away from the idea that Christmas is something that can be bought in a store and wrapped up in fancy packaging.

He grew up ... like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:2-5)


  1. I'm not Christian, but even to me this is an absolutely perfect post! :) I'm right there with you on noticing the stuff. It really is overwhelming and disturbing at times!

  2. Thanks Jane! I'm glad it spoke to you as well. =) I know you and Ryan are striving for a simpler life too, and this season seems to be the one that is the most overwhelming! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I'm trying to be right there with ya babe... eff the stuff. I want experiences, travel, and happiness not based around things. Ok sometimes i want a pretty cardigan... but i love this post and agree 110%

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  4. Jenn- I know, it's the trying that counts right?! I definitely lose track sometimes and get sucked in by the consumerism, especially this time of the year! I'm just trying to make a conscious effort to not give in and to ask myself the difficult question "do I really need this?" before I shell out the moolah. =)

  5. A timely reminder and beautifully written as well!



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