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Why Christmas Cannot Be Just about Shopping

By Mormon.org
A close-up of a wrapped Christmas gift

Christmas Is Here

The Christmas season is upon us once again. Stores have transformed overnight. Their halls and aisleways are decked from floor to ceiling with colorful offerings that promise to fill our every need. Persuasive holiday marketing shouts through the megaphone of our modern devices with promises to make all our dreams come true.   
 
Christmas and shopping sometimes feel synonymous. Casual conversation beginning as early as October often includes the question “Have you started your shopping yet?” Shopping is a huge part of modern Christmas—and it’s not all bad. 
 
Shopping can be good when it sustains loving family traditions and avoids excesses of both money and time. Families purchase items every year that they look forward to sharing with one another during the holiday season.

Shopping to Satisfy the Senses

Christmas appeals to our senses in many ways. The sights of Christmas can take us back to the wonder of childhood through the beauty of decorated trees, nativity displays, and elaborate sparkling lights adorning homes and businesses.
 
As we shop and prepare for the season, memories drift through our brains, complete with smells and tastes that often include homemade rolls, gingerbread, pies, chocolate, ham, and turkey. These aromas send us scurrying to the grocery store in an effort to sustain and continue delicious holiday traditions.
 
The touch of Christmas can often be purchased. It might be a warm mug of hot cocoa in your hands or the feel of a soft blanket around your shoulders. With the sense of touch, we experience many comforts of the season.  
 
The subtle sounds playing throughout malls and stores as we shop may have the most potential for inviting us to think about the meaning of Christmas. From “Silent Night” to “Away in a Manger,” the sounds of Christmas direct our thoughts to Jesus Christ. 
 
Christmas appeals warmly to all of our physical senses, but it can never be just about shopping.

Shopping for Treasures That Last

Jesus once spoke of treasures. He advised us to “lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, … for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
 
There are spiritual treasures available to us every Christmas season. They are our cherished relationships, our unique experiences and memories, our emotions and feelings, our knowledge, and above all our testimony of the Savior.  
 
When we’re too focused on our shopping list, it’s easy to miss the lasting treasures spoken of by the Savior. Surely He won’t mind if you enjoy shopping and family traditions this year, but in all your holiday endeavors, remember to seek Christmas treasures that last and keep Jesus at the top of your list.   

For more ideas on how to make Christmas more about Christ, chat with us.