Four Things I'm Not Doing This Christmas

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

Re-Centering the Heart for the Holidays
By Vanessa Bonilla

Christmas is all about celebrating the gift of Jesus, the Son of God. Admittedly, there are some things which draw me away from celebrating that truth. This year I’m not falling for them!

1. I’m NOT busting my budget.  

I’ve never created a Christmas budget because I thought it would be stingy of me. Proverbs 10:4 instructs otherwise saying, “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Americans on average spend over $1000 on Christmas. I’ve definitely spent that or more in Christmases past, leading to debt in the new year. This year will be different! I’m saying goodbye to a slack hand.


  • Create a budget and stick to it. Buy only what you can afford. Check your motivation behind purchases. Think of gifts in terms of meaning and not money.

2. I’m NOT spending more time preparing my home than my heart.

It is so exciting to see the house decorated, tree flickering, cuddled with the family, watching my favorite Hallmark movies. The smell of pine brings back all the best memories. In all the excitement, I’ve often forgotten to prepare my heart. This year I’ll be exclaiming 1 Chronicles 16:23, “Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.” This year I’m fixing my heart on the true reason for the season—the birth of Jesus Christ, my Savior.


  • Listen to the accounts of the Gospel on a Bible reading app. My favorite is “Dwell.” Do an Advent study with family. Incorporate prayer and songs of praise while decorating.

3. I’m NOT wasting time comparing.

When I’m on social media, I find myself going down the comparison rabbit hole, A LOT. Whether I am patting myself on the back for being “better” or beating myself up for being “less than,” neither is what God has called me to. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”

It’s so easy to forget the Lord is the giver of all things. Comparison removes the attention from Him to me. This year I refuse to steal His glory!


  • Compare who you used to be with who you are today and bless God for His transforming power. Celebrate others. Take some time off of social media.
4. I’m NOT expecting gifts from others.
My primary love language is gifts. When I don’t receive gifts on Christmas, I’m tempted to feel unloved and unappreciated. This year I will meditate on James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Our unchanging Father is the giver of every gift I will ever need. My love language will always be satisfied if I return to the source of love to sustain me. 


  • Write thank you cards for the gifts you receive this Christmas. Remember some people love others in the way they receive love. So, accept quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, and acts of service as gifts this Christmas. Let go of expectations and write down the things you are grateful for.

I pray these truths and action steps will lead you into a more Christ-centered holiday season.



About Vanessa: Lives with her husband, Eli, in Brooklyn, NY where she homeschools their five children. Vanessa is also the Children’s Director at her church, and she loves fire pits, friends, and spending time with her family.

Peace Relationships Seasonal Spiritual Growth

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