This Christmas season really gave us a chance to look at the season of Christmas, and refocus our Christmas spirit. We had spent most of our money on things we didn't need, like rent, electricity, food, and student loans, so didn't have much money for the things we need, like iPads, HD TVs, and sideline Denver Bronco's season tickets. Now, Christmas isn't about money. We all know that. Its all over the Ensign every year, and I'm sure somebody in your ward (church congregation) took up a good 5 minutes of your Sunday School nap to rant about the evils of Christmas consumerism.
However, Christmas really isn't the same when you're broke, and let me tell you why. When it comes down to it, Christmas is about giving, and serving. We give to those we love because of the happiness it brings them. We give because Jesus gave, and he is our examplar. And who doesn't love seeing the smile on their favorite wife's face when she opens a small box of designer rocks, or the look on their child's face at the sight of a brand new digital distraction? When you're broke, you miss out on the anticipation and excitement of brand new toys. Being broke on Christmas is like missing an opportunity to serve. You miss out on an opportunity to do as Christ would have done (though I'm sure he wouldn't buy your child the new iSomething.)
So, we had a choice to make. We could mope around for Christmas, or we could get into the Christmas spirit. So we forced it on ourselves. We took late night (9pm for old married couples) car rides to look at Christmas lights while listening to the local jazz station's Christmas program. We put up Christmas lights on the back patio, and got out our little tiny Christmas tree. We bought a few new shirts, and wrapped them up in last years wrapping paper. We watched some Christmas movies, drank some hot cocoa, and snuggled under the big red fleece blanket with our favorite dog between us. To top it off, we went caroling with the sister missionaries to the bishop, some random ward (church) families, and, by accident, a non-member family we'd never met.
In all, its been a good Christmas, partially because my in-laws mailed me a very nice Bronco's scarf, but mostly because I spent the Christmas season with my favorite wife, doing what we could to bring each other happiness, and bringing happiness to our ward family.