We Aren’t Doing Christmas This Year

This is Courtney. Dustin says I need to get my own blog. I don’t think I have time for that.

We have decided to do something different this holiday season. The Koctars will not be celebrating Christmas this year. Let me rephrase that, we’re celebrating Christmas just not in the same way. I’m kind of excited about it. We’ve been talking for a while about doing something different for Christmas and I like the plan we’ve devised.

The plan is simple: serve, buy nothing, and give.

There is something in Nashville called The Bridge Ministry. Every Tuesday night under the Jefferson Street Bridge in downtown Nashville you will find hundreds of homeless people gathered. You’ll find yourself a hot meal, some good ole’ worship time, a message, and groceries for the week. Over the last few months we’ve been going to serve once a month at the bridge. I’ve seen Jesus several times under this bridge. I’ve been brought to tears a few times as I’ve watched these people with hands lifted high proclaiming that this is holy ground. I’ve been humbled after what I would deem a horrible day to come and be blessed by the homeless of Nashville. We’re lucky because Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year. You’ll find us and my family, who we are celebrating Christmas with this year, at the bridge Christmas night. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Jesus than by being with family and the homeless.

I’ve been telling my family for a while that we’re not doing Christmas this year. There will be no gifts from us under the tree and I do not want a list of things you might want for Christmas. I’ve been telling them for a while that I don’t want any gifts for us under the tree and we will not be giving them a list of things we might want for Christmas. Despite my best efforts I think there are still a few gifts under the tree for us. I tried, right? I will not be stepping foot into a mall or store to buy anything for anyone. We will not be making a budget for how much we can spend on gifts. The truth of the matter is we don’t need anything. Yes, there are several things I want but upon further review I don’t need them. There is such relief in not having to buy anything this year. We might not be the favorites on Christmas morning but I think I’m okay with that.

If this were any other year we would be buying gifts. We’d have to create some sort of budget and decide how much we could spend on each person. We’d have to decide how much we could spend on each other and go from there. This year we’ll probable still create some sort of budget and decide how much we would have spent on each person but it won’t be for the same purpose. We’ve decided this year to give the money that we would have spent on gifts to somewhere else. Our place of choice is Know Think Act (surprise, surprise) but it just as easily could have been anywhere else. So instead of getting gifts this year our family will know that our friends over in Uganda are getting mosquito nets or supplies for the school. Once again, we may not be the favorites this year on Christmas morning but I really think I’m okay with that.

We’ve been challenged over the past year to live differently. I’m learning that living differently doesn’t look the same to everyone. This is how we’re choosing to celebrate Christmas different this year. Will you join us?

Here are some of our resources for celebrating Christmas differently:




Do you have any other resources you can share with us?



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