I love Christmas. My house was decked in lights and glitter the day after Thanksgiving. But I want to be really intentional about how I observe this special season. There’s probably no easier time to get things out of focus. In a time set aside to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we’ve made it instead into a consumerist culture’s dream, or at the very least, a crazy, hectic scheduling nightmare. I don’t want to continue that road. So here’s a few things I’m trying to do to keep things centered right:
Keep the heart of Christmas alive.
Maybe for you that looks like special observances of Advent. Maybe it’s making sure to sit down and spend time with someone who doesn’t have a lot of people visiting them during the holidays. Maybe it’s just being quiet for an evening and listening to God speak to you.
I keep thinking of Amy Grant’s “I Need A Silent Night.” It just feels so appropriate for what this month can so quickly become, that it really takes intentionality to embrace what the season is supposed to be about.
Give gifts that are personal.
My family started a tradition a long time ago to give homemade gifts rather than boughten trinkets. They aren’t always extraordinary, but sometimes they are. The handcrafted, special for that person gifts are unique, well thought out, and personal. And we love it. It shows so much of what each person means to us as we work on these things through the fall (and sometimes up to the day of Christmas.) I have treasured these gifts far more than anything else I’ve ever received.
Give instead of getting:
There’s no end to where to you can give at the end of the year. I know there’s a million places, but I’ll share about one that’s obviously close to my heart:
Loving Shepherd Ministries: I’m so blessed to be a part of this organization. The heart of everything we do is centered in Jesus, and the work with vulnerable women and children is unparalleled with anything I’ve ever seen or been a part of. I’d really encouarge you to check out what we’re doing by watching our “Stories of LSM” video here. And the best part about giving here right now is that all gifts are doubled (up to $100,000 in total gifts) by December 31! So your impact is doubled!
So however the season greets you, enjoy it. Embrace the time, and remember the gift of Jesus first and foremost.