No Christmas This Year

Christmas in your heart from Serving Joyfully

Christmas can be such a stressful time. I know a lot of you might be stressed about parties, to-do lists, having the perfect decorations, etc. And I know that there will be many bloggers addressing those things to help you have a “better” Christmas.

This post isn’t about that. Because I know many of you are carrying a different burden this Christmas. Every year around Christmas time, I hear the saddest phrase at least once: “we can’t afford Christmas this year.” It’s usually a plea for financial help. “We need money, or our kids won’t have a Christmas this year.”

It breaks my heart. You see, I know all about being poor. I know about penny pinching and being on a tight budget. I even know about living with no indoor plumbing for the first 13 years of my life. I get it.

But, I’ve learned that a low income isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a person.

My heart breaks for a society that has come to believe that Christmas costs x amount of dollars.

My heart breaks to see people going hundreds of dollars into debt to be able to “afford Christmas.”

My heart breaks to see mamas who spend “the most wonderful time of the year,” crying themselves to sleep because they want to buy more for those on their Christmas list.

Can I just gently share a reminder? And I pray that you can see my heart in this.

Christmas is not about money. It’s not about presents, or Santa, or having the most perfect decorations.

It’s about a king. A king who, out of love for His people, humbled himself to come to earth as a lowly baby, born in a manger. So that he could live a life, destined to die.

It’s about a savior whose love is so big that nothing can separate us from Him.

And it doesn’t cost a dime. 

But your little ones don’t know that yet. They need you to teach them, sweet mamas.

As moms, we have a lot of control in our households. You know the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” The opposite is also true–your positive outlook in the midst of bad circumstances can go a long way.

A lack of money or fancy gifts can’t take Christmas away from your kids. The most dire circumstances can’t take Christmas away from your kids.

In the midst of the worst circumstances ever, Christmas {Christ’s coming} is the reason we can still have hope. Don’t ever think you can’t have Christmas.

Christmas–and the hope and salvation that resulted from it–is the one thing that satan can never take from us. No matter what else happens in this life, we will always have that.

Nothing can take away that good and perfect gift!



  1. says

    Amen! Nothing can take the truly greatest gift away from us, praise God! Our challenge has been dealing with our materialistic family. It has taken many years to teach our girls not to think of Christmas as time to cash in on all their material “wishes.” My father still insists my girls send him a Santa list. This year I was so blessed to learn that my eldest two told him to contribute to Compassion International instead, totally on their own. I hope it gives him & his side of the family something to think about!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Renee, how sweet and what a wonderful witness for the family! I agree, it’s more difficult to simplify things when extended family isn’t on board.

  2. says

    What an awesome message at Christmas. It is so hard to keep our kids (and ourselves!) from buying into the commercialized version of what Christmas should be. It’s so much more simple than that. It’s already hard to teach my kiddo why he doesn’t have (or need!) an xbox, kindle, ipod and wii like EVERYBODY ELSE. Ha! And that’s not a “we can’t afford it” but a “we are frugal and we don’t need every single thing we want”. But still it’s hard. Thank you for the reminder of what it’s truly all about :)

  3. Amy Beth says

    So true. When I was in sixth or seventh grade the most expensive gift I got was a new Bible. We were terribly poor and my mom had saved all year just to be able to get those $20 gifts for each of us. She also made us some gingerbread men ornaments and bought some used books (probably no more than $1). I know she probably felt terrible she couldn't give us more and that it was the worst Christmas ever – but truly it is one of my most precious Christmas memories ever. Christmas isn't about the amount of money spent – it's about the how you spend your time and the people you spend it with – that's the spending that truly counts.

  4. says

    I love this Crystal. We have decided to have a simpler Christmas this year for this reason. Tired of the stress of trying to keep up with the rest of the world, so we’re focusing on what’s important family, serving others and Christ. Blessings!

  5. says

    I’ve been fighting the “I Want” battle here. My kids have been POURING over catalogs that come in the mail. Making lists of all the things they want. They already have more toys than they need. I’m trying to limit any new toys and shift our family focus from STUFF back to Jesus.

  6. Jen Abbas de Jong says

    I love this. It's always rubbed me wrong when I hear someone say "no Christmas this year," especially as a request for or complain about a lack of money. I know what it's like to not know how I will be able to afford my living expenses, let alone any extras. And now that I'm in a better financial position, I'm more inclined to be generous this time of year for those truly in need. A heated home in a northern climate is a need. The latest toy is not. Thank you for the reminder that all of us, regardless of our financial status, are offered The Gift of Christmas.

  7. Jenilee Goodwin says

    I love when Jesus is the focus and we can tone down the rest of the stuff in light of the true gift of Christmas. Thanks for your post!

  8. Jenilee Goodwin says

    I love when Jesus is the focus and we can tone down the rest of the stuff in light of the true gift of Christmas. Thanks for your post!

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