When More Is Not Merrier This Christmas Season

stressed man lowers his head in front of Christmas tree

When More Is Not Merrier This Christmas Season

 Having more items will not bring joy to your holiday, but the love of God will bring merriment, joy, and happiness to Christmas as well as to every other day of the year.

There is an old saying that goes: the more, the merrier. This saying could refer to believing that the more gifts a person has, Christmas will be better, or it could mean that the more people present for the Christmas Day celebration, Christmas will be merrier. This, however, is not always true. Having more gifts or being surrounded by tons of people does not mean Christmas will be brighter. Maybe you are going through a not-very-merry Christmas this year, or you know someone struggling this holiday season. 

Discover these three less-than-merry factors that could pivot your words, soften your heart, and challenge you to be more welcome and joyful this Christmas: 

More Is Not Merrier—Materialism

Mainstream department stores, online shopping, and luxury food products all advocate for the idea of “the more, the merrier.” These top name stores and businesses have enculturated people’s minds to believe that the more gifts you have, the more nice foods you have, or the more money you spend, the happier your Christmas will be. All too often, we think if a person does not have any gifts under their Christmas tree that their Christmas will be ruined. Twenty-first-century materialism has led us to believe that Christmas is a time to spend money on expensive gifts, elaborate celebrations, and fancy feasts. While all of these things are not bad in and of themselves, they are not needed to have a merry Christmas. 

Consumerism has engulfed the minds of many people, including Christians, to believe a staple of Christmas time is buying the most expensive and fancy gifts for our loved ones. We believe that the more costly or nice the gift is, the better our loved ones will know how much they mean to us. In the same way, materialism has led us to believe that we should expect to receive only the best gifts from our loved ones during the holidays, and if we do not receive these gifts, we will feel disappointed, sad, or rejected. 

The truth is that Christmas is not about presents, gift wrap, and pretty bows. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus into the world (Luke 2:4-21). Jesus’ birth was an essential aspect of God’s plan to save mankind. Ever since the fall of man, there has been sin in the world. All people are born into sin, and we all freely choose to sin in our lives (Romans 3:23). Sin separates us from God and will ultimately lead us to experience eternal separation from God in hell (Romans 6:23). Placing faith in Jesus is the only way to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life (John 14:6). In order for Jesus to be able to die for our sins, He had to be born of a virgin, grow up, live a sinless life, die, and resurrect three days later in order to provide redemption for our sins. Only Jesus can give salvation as He is God in the flesh (John 1:1). No other person can redeem us from our sins, nor anything we can do could merit salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth into the world to redeem us because of His great love for us. Jesus being born into the world meant God was literally with us (Matthew 1:23). There is no greater love than Jesus dying for our sins in order for us to spend eternity with Him. Christmas is not all about fancy gifts, elaborate parties, or huge feasts—it is about celebrating the Lord’s birth. You do not have to have more to be merrier. All we need to be joyful is to reflect on Jesus’ birth. Designer clothes, fancy handbags, and technology devices might make us happy for a short time, but the happiness does not last. Jesus gives us lasting joy that never diminishes, weakens, or fades away.

More Is Not Merrier—Social Anxiety

Another ordinary meaning for “the more, the merrier” refers to the more people present, the better the celebration will be. This is not necessarily true, as many people suffer from social anxiety. From my personal struggles with social anxiety, the more people, the more anxiety I face. There is nothing wrong with having large Christmas parties, but all people still need to be mindful of those who struggle with large crowds. (Just the thought of a huge gathering of people can cause social anxiety to pump in our veins.) Social anxiety can cause a person to experience increased discomfort when they are in the presence of too many people at one time. 

For your own Christmas celebrations, you do not have to have tons of people RSVP in order for it to be a festive occasion. Even just a few close friends or just your family can be enough to celebrate Christ’s birth. If you are alone this holiday season, you can still celebrate the Lord’s advent into the world. No person is truly ever alone because God is always with us (Psalm 23).

More Is Not Merrier—COVID Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak is a third reason individuals need to be careful about “the more, the merrier” mentality. With the newest strand of the virus, known as the Omicron variant, all individuals need to be careful about large gatherings of people in small areas. The Omicron variant is more contagious, which is why large gatherings need to be approached with caution. If you are primarily concerned over the coronavirus pandemic, the concept of “the more, the merrier” can send shivers down your spine. 

There are many other ways you can celebrate with your loved ones during this Christmas holiday while remaining healthy and safe. Limiting the number of people at your Christmas celebrations can be a helpful tactic to prevent the potential spread of this virus. Hosting a Zoom call or Skype call where all family members or friends could join virtually is another way to keep connected over the holiday. Even just a phone call could brighten somebody’s day during the Christmas season. You do not have to throw a Great Gatsby-size Christmas party to celebrate our Lord. 

Maybe you have your ideas of how to be creative to host a Christmas party this year. The important meaning of Christmas is not rooted in gifts, feasts, or vast gatherings of people. You do not need to have more in order to be merrier this year. Joy comes from knowing the Lord and having a relationship with Him. Your friends and family love you, and that is what matters. Having more items will not bring joy to your holiday, but the love of God will bring merriment, joy, and happiness to Christmas as well as to every other day of the year. 

The world wants to try to convince us that we have to own or give a lot of things to others to have a merry Christmas, but we do not. Celebrating Jesus’ birth can be done just with your heart praising Him. Even if there are not any Christmas presents under the tree, or you are alone this Christmas season, you can know that God is always with you, and He has given you fullness in Him (Colossians 2:9-10). Christmas can still be an excellent time to celebrate the Lord, whether you have little or much.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Tommaso79

Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is probably embarking on an adventure.