Every single year I tell myself I will start Christmas shopping early and won’t get lost in the holiday shopping shuffle… And then every single year I find myself curled up in a ball in the corner of Target crying because I am too overwhelmed by all of the things I need to do and buy, when all I really want to do is buy that cute sweater in every color for myself and go home! UGH!
The true meaning of Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birth and to me, the spirit of Christmas is to concentrate on His birth, spending quality time with family and focusing on gratitude and giving back. But this year, I’ve found myself buried in my computer on various websites like Nordstrom Rack and Amazon, searching for the perfect gifts… People, the struggle IS REAL! Instead of being buried in the holiday MADNESS, I should be buried in the Word, learning more about Jesus and less about those dang Stuart Weitzman boots that I have been lusting after for the last few months. And instead of being worried about what I am going to wear to our holiday parties, I should be donating my time to helping families in need, or picking out a toy for a Christmas Angel in the mall. I don’t want to get carried away with all of the ‘shoulds and shouldn’ts’, but this is the time of year that I want to be spending my time learning about the true meaning of Christmas, even if I think I already know it. So I came up with some tips that I hope are helpful on how to keep our eyes and minds on the Lord during this crazy, and distraction filled, time of year.
- Partner up with a close friend and share your favorite Christmas related scripture or quote. You can do this every day of Advent, once a week, or whatever works best for you
- Go around the dinner table and ask your kids/family what they have recently learned about Christmas. You may be surprised about how much they know and what you can learn from them
- Write down a memory verse related to Christmas every couple of days or once a week and post it where everyone in your family can see it everyday. Even if you don’t think they care or aren’t paying attention, these little things build lasting memories and your kids will truly love it
- Start a new tradition with your family. Whether it’s donating your time helping others, or taking a little day trip somewhere every year where you can spend some quality time together and get away from all of the holiday distractions
- Sing Christmas Carols! A long time ago, my family and I hopped in the back of a trailer (attached to a truck), we had barrels of hay to sit on, hot chocolate to keep us warm, and we drove around neighborhoods singing Christmas Carols. It sounds silly but it was so magical and people LOVED it!
- JUST STOP. Interrupt the trance that advertisers promote and focus on what really matters to you. It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the hype and superficial expectations of Christmas; my house has to be perfect for the party, I NEED this or that etc. Just take a moment to breath and meditate on what’s truly important
- Start a gratitude journal or board. Write down something everyday that you are thankful for and then mention that in your prayers, giving all of the glory back to God. This is a neat thing to do with your spouse and kids too. They can make their own or you can do a family board and every person gets to take turns writing something down. I want to do this with my family on Christmas Day, save it, and read it next year. This will be our families new tradition.
With Christmas being just a few days away, I encourage everyone to slow down, take a step back, look at the big picture and remember the REAL reason for the season 🙂