As a child, I remember my mother going to Otasco Merchandise in Blytheville, Arkansas to buy our Christmas gifts. She’d get us every toy we could imagine and spend the entire following year making installment payments on it.

Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time,” 69 percent are stressed by having a “lack of money,” and 51 percent are stressed out about the “pressure to give or get gifts.”

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

2020 has been a difficult year for much of our country. We’ve shut down industries, businesses, and nearly every facet of our nation has been impacted. This may be the perfect year to celebrate the birth of Jesus by loving, sharing, and worshiping our God, and letting go of those depressing holiday statistics.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and all the giving that goes along with it. I believe that God intended us to give, and the birth of His Son was His ultimate act of giving. However, somewhere along the way, we’ve evolved from a celebration of the King of Kings’ birth to a commercial season of chaos and stress.

This year, I’m going to spend less money on myself and my family, and maybe help pay someone’s utility bill. I can’t remember any of the toys my mother worked so hard to buy for us, but I distinctly recall the love inside that little single wide trailer in which I was raised.

Let’s end 2020 by celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and I’m positive all the other stuff will fall into place.

What do you recall about Christmas as a child?

Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, professor, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at

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