The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

We don’t have many days left before Christmas. A lot of us still have some shopping to do.

Shopping for Christmas presents is extremely tough for me. I am not a good shopper, and I always want to give something the person would really like.

A study has been released that shows that people don’t really like the gifts they receive from others. People are much more satisfied if they can choose their own gifts.

This year Christmas spending is expected to be around $65 billion and is estimated that people value gifts 20% less than an equally expensive purchase that people choose for themselves. This means that $65 billion holiday splurge will bring about $12 billion less in satisfaction.

I enjoyed reading that statistic offered from Joel Waldfogel of The Boston Globe. It took away a little bit of my guilt for advocating a more simple Christmas in terms of spending.

Christmas is a battle between presents and presence of God. The presents that we try to purchase probably won’t bring much satisfaction. The presence of God always brings ultimate satisfaction.

One of the busiest shopping days of the year is the day after Christmas because everybody is swapping presents. When we use our financial resources to support things that make a difference in the lives of people and make a difference for eternity – these are gifts that will not need to be swapped the day after Christmas.

Someone shared a few of the following Christmas signs.

  • In a bridal boutique: “Marry Christmas.”
  • A reducing salon: “24 Shaping Days until Christmas.”
  • From a toy store: “Ho, ho, ho, spoken here.”
  • In a Texas jewelry store: “Diamond tiaras: $70,000. Three for $200,000.”
  • In a stationery store: “For the man who has everything: A calendar to remind him when payments are due.”

I hope we don’t make expenditures this Christmas that will keep us paying on them throughout 2010. Consider spending less on Christmas gifts for people, and use some of what you save to give to something that will make an eternal difference!

The best Christmas occurs when we have less presents and more presence of God.

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