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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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December 2, 2008

Good from bad?

Roshelle Doty used to heap “video games, clothes, electronics, dolls and toys upon her children at Christmas.” This year she sat them down to explain the economy: “I told them this Christmas, they’ll get two gifts apiece. My kids usually can have whatever they want and desire, as long as their grades are up. This year, my budget is $50 per kid.”

Doty was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article on parents’ efforts to focus the holidays away from gifts due to the economy.

Chicago-based author Susan Smith Kuczmarski suggested that family outings this year should stress togetherness, not material items. She said: “Say, ‘Not having gifts doesn’t mean you don’t have love. We have love and each other, and that’s what matters.’ ”

Maybe some good things can come out of a recession. If gift-giving isn’t the focus, maybe people will use Advent to reflect more on the real gift we receive at Christmas?

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DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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