Berean Blog

Ditch the Holiday Overwhelm and Bring the True Meaning Back to Christmas!

Every year as the holidays roll around, we scurry about to write our wish lists and buy something special for the people in our lives. Yet as we strive to do everything to perfection, our hearts often feel overwhelmed and empty. We miss what the season is truly all about. This Christmas, I'd like to challenge all of us to rethink our plan so that we can look back on the season with a full heart.

by Anna Mundy on December 02, 2021


Three hundred thousand.

While many of us wish this was the amount of money in our bank account, it is actually the number of items in the average American home (LA Times).

It’s no surprise that the average American family has way too much stuff. Yet every December, when the most wonderful time of the year rolls around, we are undeniably drawn to the glitz and glam of the holiday commercials persuading us to buy just a little bit more. The jolly jingles of the season remind us that we should “make our lists and check them twice,” and join the hustle and bustle of the seasonal shoppers to outdo the gifts we gave last year.

But while our stockings are filled to overflowing and the lights of our trees illuminate a vast spread of gifts beneath, our hearts seem to feel more overwhelmed and emptier than ever. Instead of continuing this unhealthy pattern, let's ditch the holiday overwhelm and bring the true meaning back to Christmas so that we can look back on the season with a full heart.

The True Meaning of Christmas

The true meaning of Christmas is celebrating the greatest gift that was ever given – the precious gift of Jesus Christ. This baby boy born in a manger in Bethlehem was used by God to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus modeled for us what it looks like to love others first, and because he has been so generous with us, we too ought to be generous with those around us.

The last couple of years have not been easy, and many within our circle of family and friends, our community, and our world are facing greater needs than ever before. This Christmas, instead of just giving more stuff, what if instead we focused on gifts that make a lasting impact? As Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” This year, I’d like to challenge you to give a gift that warms the heart by letting the first gift you give be for someone in need. Here are a few ideas!


In Your Circle of Family and Friends

  • Give the gift of quality time. Loneliness is something many people have been fighting during the long months of the pandemic. Avoid overbooking your calendar and take some unrushed days to simply be present for those you care about.

  • Give the gift of a helping hand. Help a friend hang their Christmas lights. Shovel the driveway for the widow next door. Offer to babysit so some friends can have a quality date night out. Run some holiday errands for that friend working two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

  • Give the gift of some extra encouragement and be a light. Make a phone call to a friend who’s having a hard time. Send some extra texts to those in your contacts list to share some Christmas joy.

  • Give the gift of a listening ear. Take time to slow down and hear the needs that others have. Sometimes Christmas is hard and people just need to talk.

  • Give the gift of forgiveness. Christmas is a time for new beginnings. As much as possible, mend any broken relationships and make things right with all those around you.

  • Give the gift of pure, authentic love. Make up your mind to demonstrate unconditional love - the kind with no strings attached that doesn’t expect anything in return. Love just to love.


In Your Community

  • Give the gift of a smile to a stranger on the street. With all the negative news through the media, people need hope. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

  • We often have more than we need, but there are many who lack the bare essentials. Make Christmas blessing bags for needy people in your area. Check out this video for some fantastic ideas.

  • Find a shelter in your area and volunteer. Serve up some smiles with a warm, tasty meal on a cold winter day.

  • Give of your talents. Sing or play some holiday tunes for the folks at the local nursing home. Many of them likely haven’t been able to get out in a while with the health risks of Covid-19.

  • Host a clothing, toy, or food drive in your community. Find a church or other community organization that will help you donate the items to those who have the greatest need.

  • Prepare some delicious holiday goodies. Then, deliver them to workers who may not get the normal holiday hours off. People such as postal workers, healthcare workers, police officers, and more, need to be reminded that their work makes a difference.

  • Find a place that is hosting a blood drive and give blood. Remember, as the American Red Cross says, “You have the power to save a life!

  • Donate a financial gift to give hope to children who have parents in prison. Donating through Angel Tree – Prison Fellowship will remind these children that they are still loved, giving them a Christmas to remember.

  • Brighten the life of a child who has been impacted by the trauma of foster care. Go to One Simple Wish and make a child’s dream come true!

  • Ring a bell for the Salvation Army. By doing so, you are helping to provide food, shelter, and other essentials to those in need.


Around the World

  • Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and send some joy to children around the world. Although the collection period for your own shoeboxes has already passed for this Christmas, there's still time to build a shoebox online! Or, consider collecting items throughout the new year to build anticipation for next year.

  • Sponsor a child through a child sponsorship program, such as Compassion International or World Vision. Then, write your child regular letters filled with hope and encouragement. You can also give a family gift to help your sponsored child's family with their greatest needs.

  • Send a Christmas card and stuffed Christmas stocking to a deployed service member through Soldier's Angels. Or, consider blessing the family of a service member back home in the states by checking out this list of ways to get involved.

  • Find a charity or cause around the world that means a lot to you. Donate some time, skills, or money to make an impact. Consider using Charity Navigator to make sure your donations are doing the most good.

  • Gather a group and volunteer to pack nutritious meals for malnourished children around the world with Feed My Starving Children. This is a fantastic activity for families, work groups, neighbor groups, youth groups, and more.

  • Give a goat. Yes, it’s possible here!

  • Donate books to help people and schools overseas. The gift of reading can open the door to endless possibilities for those who receive the necessary resources.

  • In the United States, it’s usually pretty easy to get a Bible if you want one, but that isn’t always the case in other countries. Help get a Bible in the hands of every individual who wants one with Voice of the Martyrs.

  • Many people live without access to the medicine and health supplies they need. Donate to MAP International, a Christian organization that helps families around the world get the care they need.

  • Put love into action and help alleviate suffering around the world by partnering with Operation Blessing. They work to provide hunger relief, medical care, clean water, and disaster relief to people in more than 90 different countries.


Let’s make Christmas “a little bit more.”

Our basements are overflowing. Our closets are stuffed to the brim. We spend our precious days off trying to reorganize it all so that it doesn’t get in our way. We may even rent an offsite storage unit so that we can get it out of sight and out of mind. Yet every Christmas, we work a little bit harder so that we can buy just a little bit more.

This Christmas, before we decide to focus on our wish lists and the must-have holiday gifts, perhaps we can all gain a little wisdom from the Grinch, that sly green man who once tried to steal our holiday joy. He says,

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

True Christmas joy is not about the material things we give or receive. The magic of the season is found in the gift of Jesus Christ and the life-changing hope that we can share with those around us.  This Christmas, let’s ditch more of the stuff that comes from the store and together let’s make Christmas “a little bit more.”

Tags: church of god, merry christmas, jesus is the reason for the season, rethink christmas, the true meaning of christmas, the real meaning of christmas, churches near me, keep christ in christmas, churches in lakeville, berean baptist church, baptist church near me, churches in burnsville, churches in apple valley, christmas 2021, the most wonderful time of the year, how to make christmas meaningful, how to make christmas special, give a gift that makes an impact, how to ditch the holiday overwhelm, give a gift to those in need, christmas gifts for those in need, family activities for christmas, family activities for the holidays, what is the true meaning of christmas, feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, avoid holiday overwhelm, overcoming holiday stress, how to beat holiday stress, why is christmas so special, holiday giving, brighten the holidays, christmas help to brighten the season, stressed at christmas, ditching the holiday overwhelm

Previous Page

Subscribe to our Blogs Here