This Year’s Gift

Haley Bodine | December 5, 2023

This time of year is so easy to fall prey to the lust for more. I generally always appreciate beautiful things—the shoes, the purses, the clothing, the Chip and Joanna style home decor—but the amped-up Christmas sales can drive an insatiable appetite for more stuff.

During a recent trip to Target, I was looking at the shimmering Christmas decorations, daydreaming of elegant parties around my table, stories being shared over a perfectly adorned meal, music playing, fancy dresses, and wine stems beneath twinkling white lights (meanwhile, in real life, I’m a mother of two who hasn’t changed out of joggers and hoodies in a week and I’d do just about anything to get out of another scheduled event this year). And yet, amid the ornate displays and piped-in scents of Target, I still get caught up in the idea of it all. I want more!

But today, my mid-shopping daydream was abruptly interrupted by a  surprising, but crystal-clear thought: “Don’t believe the lie.”

In an instant, my visions of sugar plum fairies fell away like a shattering television screen, and I was once again standing in Target wearing my aforementioned joggers and hoodie.

“Don’t believe the lie.”

What lie?

The lie that I need more to live better; that I will never experience life apart from satisfying my endless list of desires. The lie that my worth is tied to my wallet, and that Christmas is going to be miserable unless it looks magazine perfect.

It’s all an illusion. 

And I buy into it…


It’s a lie that can gain a strong grip on my heart. Its tentacles wind throughout the arteries and cavities of my soul. A one-time realization of the lie doesn’t fix it. I have to fight back moment by moment. I can’t simply say, “I see you in the corners of my mind, Mr. Lie,” and then walk away. I have to pick up the sword of Truth and start swinging, and keep swinging, and when that ugly lie rears its head again, I have to swing some more.

One of the more powerful and effective weapons to win the war is to remember the plight of those living in nations oppressed and wartorn. When I step back from my relatively safe and comfortable life in suburban Chicago and recognize that there are millions of mothers desperate to feed their children tonight. Millions of people are on the run from physical danger and injustice. Millions of people that Jesus loves are praying to see tomorrow’s sunrise and hoping for safety. It’s these thoughts, as I get to tuck my children into their safe, warm beds with filled tummies and two parents watching over their welfare, where I am so overcome with gratitude. But not just gratitude. It’s these moments that inspire me to not only stop the ravenous lust for more, but instead turn outwardly to give. These are the moments that inspire me to stop stockpiling my creature comforts and instead combat injustice in the world by giving generously to efforts that bring hope, relief, and care to the suffering. 

Generosity that combats injustice also destroys greed in our own souls. 

This year, we can say “enough.” We can choose not to believe the lie that marketers want us to believe. We can be satisfied. Our appetite for more can be satiated by embracing the fullness of life given in Jesus, whose kingdom will not be thwarted, altered, or overthrown. Because of His coming, our broken-cistern-hearts have been fully mended and are capable of holding onto authentic joy, gratitude, and satisfaction.

So this season, pause and consider that the presence of Jesus is enough. And then, join me in giving generously to Willow’s year-end fund to fuel the work being done through our local partners, making sure our neighbors receive what they need. 

Emmanuel has come. Drink deep. Take it all in. Refuse to believe the lie that you must have more. Do not be robbed of the joy, fullness, and satisfaction that come from the present and presence of Jesus.  

Rest. Be merry. Be bright.