Actress Patricia Heaton says she's not interested in the extravagance of the holidays but instead plans to share her time with her family and to work helping others.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Heaton, the star of the CBS comedy series, "Carol's Second Act," said, "Ultimately, Christmas is never about the gifts. It's about family being together and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ."
The actress, 61, also confided to the website that her family attends a Christmas service on Christmas because "that's really important."
"It's easy to get caught up in the commercialism of it all," Heaton told The CP." Actually, this is the first year where I've told everyone I'm not buying. My boys are all in their 20s, and so I said to my husband after last year that I realized that I get so cranky during the Christmas season. This whole gift thing and it's just making me anxious and cranky. I just don't want the holidays to be about that."
"I think a lot of moms and parents get anxious about gifts, and things like that make the holidays stressful and I think we need to work toward making it just about our family being together," she continued.
Heaton, a committed Christian, has teamed with the Christian organization World Vision to do humanitarian work for several years. This year, the actress' Opportunity Collection which features a handmade mango wood bowl, acacia wood serving spoons, and a set of four hand-carved coasters is featured in the organization's gift catalog.
She credits her father as her first example of Christian charity.
"He was a guy who was very nervous about money and he had five kids. He was paying tuition for Catholic education and yet he made sure he still sent money to various charities," Heaton told The CP. "He never talked about it, but I saw him do that every month. So that made an impression on me."
"Jesus said, "to whom much is given much is expected." So I think it's very important that we do that, but you want to be responsible in how you give and who you give to," she said.
As CBN News has reported, Heaton has traveled the world with World Vision. After her ABC series "The Middle" wrapped up its series finale last year, instead of taking a little time off, she headed to Uganda to meet with refugees.
In March of this year, Heaton went to Rwanda, and as utterly overwhelmed with emotion after meeting with a woman who says she has totally forgiven the man who murdered her entire family.
It is an impossible feat made possible only by the love and grace of the Lord Jesus.
Heaton added that it is only by the power of God that we can forgive others of such serious wrongdoing, noting that we "can't do this of our own human effort."