Less Gifts and More Christ | How to Simplify During the Holidays


A couple of years ago, I wasn't sure what to do with our family and where we'd gotten. We had just opened presents and everyone moved from gift to gift seemingly unsatisfied. I don't know if you've been there, like us...the anticipation about gifts, then you get them, and then...nothing.

You feel unsatisfied. That was it? I'd never say that out loud...subtle thoughts for me. And giant words falling out of my kids. "I'm bored." Aw, yes. There I am. In my kids' words, rolling around on the ground. "Not enough".

And that is when God changed us forever.


Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.

isaiah 55:2

I knew I couldn't yell, "Just be grateful!" anymore. It wasn't working, and somehow, it seemed like the opposite was happening. That Christmas, it was just a simple prayer and a simple inkling to change. On an act of obedience we cleaned out bags of toys. We prayed that God would give us a grateful heart. Help. And throughout the year, we did change. Yes, cleaning out stuff. Yes, giving junk away. but more than that, God seemed to be doing something different. We did a lot of repenting and still do. You want more, right? 

I felt like the word MORE was important. Not more world, just more Jesus. I became more aware of my consumption. My desire to feed my heart with unnecessary stuff to satisfy my deepest craving. We decided to do one gift at Christmas. One gift to remind us of the anticipation the people must have felt when they knew their Savior had shown up. Like promised. All those painstaking years, looking and waiting for the Savior.

One very small gift. Nothing fussy. And it changed the world. And that is what you will find under our tree.

One thing for each of you. It's all you need. Can you see Jesus in that?


If you want to change the world, start small. Start very, very small. Very unimpressive. Like our Savior coming—not born of a king's breed, not walking onto the planet as an amazing grown man. He came small and tiny in a barn to a regular old family. It seems like small things aren't important when everyone around you is doing BIG. And NEW. And WOW. It's so luring and so deceptive. We trade getting more for...nothing. And there Jesus lays crying in hay with an exhausted mother and a father who doesn't know if he can stay. Pretty unimpressive, I'd say. But did you hear how He changed the world?

You can find this beautiful print by Melanie Burk to download below


jami nato

Jamie is a writer, mother and wife. She shares raw faith and real life on her blog. You can find her here: Website Instagram Twitter


melanie burk

Melanie is a designer, teacher, collector of happy, and lover of life. She’s got a dreamboat husband and three little girls that have taught her to find the beauty in a messy, joyful life.  You can connect with her here: Website / Instagram / Online Shop

copy by
jami nato

art print by
melanie burk