Intentional Christmas

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:

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Love – Love – Love this post! 🙂 Thank you so much for these wise and timely tips for reminding us to make this the best Christmas ever (well, so far). I am all about homemade, donations to charities made in lieu of, and time spent together instead of gifts at all. It is the season itself, the birth of Jesus, to be remembered and celebrated. Thank you again!

    1. Amber says:

      Thanks, and I’d totally agree. Gifts from the heart are so much more meaningful! Enjoy the holidays!

  2. As I was reading your first paragraph, Amy’s I Need A Silent Night was playing in my head. I love that song…and as a former (and temporarily current) retail employee, that song has even more meaning.

    I love the personalized gifts point, too. The thing about personalizing…there is often more time involved rather than money. My former boss and my step dad both have gluten allergies. Last year I baked a bunch of GF goodies for them both…cookies, bread, brownies…all things they had stopped being able to enjoy. I think in the end, that meant more to them than any other gift I might have been able to buy.

    1. Amber says:

      That’s great Kitt! The best gifts are those tailored just for that person, so doing something like baking them food is a great idea! And hope the holidays are great – even in the retail business 🙂

      1. Thank you. 🙂

  3. beliebinme says:

    We don’t celebrate christmas, sadly. It seems like a wonderful holiday. And I love the “Give instead of getting” point. Nothing feels better than seeing someone so happy over something you gave them. Hope you have a brilliant Christmas!

    1. Amber says:

      Thanks 🙂 I think the “give instead of giving” thought can be celebrated throughout the whole year, not just through the holidays.

      1. beliebinme says:

        I completely agree!

  4. Emily says:

    I loved this Amber! I agree with you in that I totally love Christmas. I need to keep the focus on what is important and what is not. Beautiful post!

    1. Amber says:

      Thanks Em! Hope you have a fabulous Christmas season 🙂

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