Christmas is a beautiful and amazing time of the year—it’s a time to celebrate the birth of Christ!
One of the ways we celebrate is by giving and receiving gifts. However, we live in a society where “being too busy” is applauded. So, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in all of the buying and the planning.
It’s easy to get sidetracked by the “business” of Christmas. Ironically, when the day finally arrives, we’re unable to enjoy it!
If you’re like me, you have something better in mind. You know that fullness of joy is not found in presents, but in God’s presence (see Psalm 16:11).
In fact, I’ve discovered that it’s in God’s presence where the magic of Christmas really comes alive! So, this year, I encourage you to slow down, get quiet, and take time to soak in God’s amazing presence in the midst of all the busyness.
Sure, problems will arise and people will occasionally frustrate or disappoint you. There’s no way to be alive and avoid these things!
But you can balance out the bad with the good by spending quality time with God and setting aside time to indulge in a few of the simpler pleasures of the season.
If you find yourself struggling with too much intensity, try a few of these simple “recipes” for a less stressful, more fulfilling celebration.
1. Take a deep breath.
Job 33:4 says, The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life (NIV).
When things get hectic, take a few moments to talk to God and receive His peace and refreshment.
2. Read something uplifting.
Proverbs 4:20-22 says, …Turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body (NIV).
God’s Word is alive and full of power—and it has the ability to revive and refresh you when you get weary and worn out!
3. Listen to praise and worship music.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. —Psalm 100:2 (NIV)
4. Go to bed on time (maybe even a little early).
5. Spend time with a close friend.
Galatians 6:2 says, Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (NIV).
When we get extra busy, we sometimes forget to do the things that bring us joy and help us relax...like spending time with someone we enjoy.
6. Enjoy a delicious, nutritious meal.
Third John 1:2 says, Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well (NIV).
When we’re pressed for time, it’s easy to let good habits fall to the side. However, taking a little time to eat something that’s nutritious—something you like—will pay dividends in the end!
7. Write down your worries…then throw them away.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.—1 Peter 5:7
8. Make a list of things you’re thankful for.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.—1 Thessalonians 5:18
9. Get outdoors for a while.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. —Psalm 19:1 (NIV)
10. Be playful and laugh a lot!
A cheerful heart is good medicine…. —Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)