We are here again, the Christmas season. Decorations, lights, shopping, traffic, running from one event to another – the hustle and bustle of the season can be exhaust. Many times I personally feel that all the activities have the opposite effect on my heart and attitude. Christmas just doesn’t seem like Christmas. Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you already feel that way.
How can we slow down and enjoy all the wonderful things of the holiday season? How can we prepare our heart for Christmas? Here are 7 practical ways that I pray will help all of us:
- Just Say NO! – You are not a super-human, you can’t do everything. It’s okay to say no to some things. Especially to the things that stress you out or steal your joy.
- Stop worrying! – There are many things that you cannot control in this life. Worrying how things will get down; will someone like your gift; did everyone like your holiday fruitcake. All of these worries add so much pressure and anxiety in our lives. Nothing, of which, are healthy. Focus only on things that you do have control of and trust God and allow Him to control all the rest.
- Don’t Go Into Debt! – The last thing you and I need is more debt in our lives. So many people spend too much during this time. We are a materialistic culture who always thinks more is better. More is NOT better…it’s just more. And it can equate to more debt and more burdens. Think clearly about the gifts and things you buy and be free from compulsion and the bondage of pleasing others.
- Look for the Small Things! – The small things in life is where we find the greatest joys. The joy of children during this season. The small acts of kindness, hospitality, or help that really makes someone else’s day. It could be as simple as sitting down with loved ones and watching your favorite holiday movie. Stop long enough and look for the small things, they will be things you treasure most.
- Be A Blessing! – Pray and ask the Lord to give you opportunities to be a blessing to someone else. It doesn’t have to be costly or expensive. But it will require your time and effort. Remember it is always better to give than to receive. Becoming a blessing is the true heart of Christmas. That is what Jesus did for us!
- Live Jesus Centered! – Jesus is the reason for the season, but if He is not in the center of it all, what is this truly about? To prepare our heart for Christmas we must bring Jesus front and center into everything that we do. Not just for the month of December but throughout the entire year. Do some things practically that put Jesus in the center. Of course, read your Bible daily, pray, fellowship with other believers, etc. But also, allow Him to be at the forefront of your other daily activities. Invite Him to come and cook with you, rake the leaves with you, exercise with you, go to the store with you, go to work with you. Allow this season to take you deeper in your relationship with Him.
- Rest! – Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap! Exhaustion drives us to points of breakdown. Rest! Remember God rested after 6 days of creation…so should you. It may take you a little longer to do all the things you think you need to get done. But in the end, you will be better prepared for all the joys of Christmas.
May God richly bless you this Christmas. And may you experience all of Christ’s love, joy, peace and His grace!