I had a few ideas in mind but nothing written down when I wrote The Christmas Stress Factor. One thought that missed the post completely was the financial stressor. I’m not talking about maxing the credit cards buying presents for every man and his brother (that stress usually hits in the middle of January when the bills arrive). I’m talking about all the good causes that will ask during this time of year.
Maybe it’s because those needing food and clothing have a greater need during the winter, or because charities and others know that we are already in a giving mood and have soft hearts with Christmas upon us. Southern Baptists are familiar with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the week of prayer for international missions that is just now wrapping up. This is also the time of year Boy Scouts sell tins of popcorn as their annual fundraiser. The Salvation Army makes their biggest push of the year for donations, with the Santa bell ringers on the sidewalks and in the malls. There are dozens of other toys drives, secret Santas, homeless shelters and so forth that will all vie for your attention and ask you to open your wallet at this most important time of year. And just like you cannot attend every party, parade and pageant neither can you give a handout to every single person that asks, even when they represent a good cause.
There are many good causes but bear in mind that most people are also susceptible to soft hearts and generous giving at this time of year. Prayerfully consider which causes you will support financially and have a little faith that the rest of us will pitch in as well. Please don’t cut back on your tithes and offerings at church just to free up a little money for those other things. If you’re part of a healthy missions focused church then they too support many worthwhile causes.