06 Dec Surviving The Most Wonderful Time Of the Year
Ahhhhh… Christmastime is upon us. The most wonderful time of the year! The smell of fresh baked cookies waft through the air teasing your senses with sweet aromas of sugar and spice. The sound of laughter fills the air as carolers’ voices unite in perfect harmony, serenading you with Silent Night. As you nestle in for a long winter’s nap, visions of sugar plums dance through your head. Uh… wait… reality check! That smell? That’s the stench of your credit card burning up the store’s machine. That sound? It just very well could be your significant other as they struggle to untangle the outdoor Christmas lights? And the visions? Dancing before your eyes is your multi-color highlighted calendar filled in with so many different shades indicating just how overbooked you are that it looks like the crayon factory exploded on it! Not to mention you forgot that one person you still need to get a gift for! Do you really want to go back to the mall and fight someone for a parking space or take a chance an online order will actually make it to you on time? Stressed out yet? Whew… I know I am!
We all know just how stressful the most wonderful time of year can be, so how do we find the joy of the season? Where is Jesus in all this busyness? You may even find yourself asking, “How will I ever survive this Christmas?” Well, here are a few tips that I hope will not only help you to survive but to actually thrive this Christmas!
Tip #1 If you are a follower of Jesus, make sure you take time to spend with the birthday boy! I don’t know about you, but I cannot even think about leaving the house before I spend time in my slot and spot, my time and place with Jesus. He has to set my heart and mind right so I can treat people the way he would like me to, with love and kindness. And yes, that goes for that grumpy shopper who stole your parking place too! Challenging? Yes! But you will feel so much better later for it! If you’re not a follower of Jesus, this is the perfect time of year to get to know him! Consider an Advent Devotional to reveal the significance of this special holiday!
Tip #2 Make time to rest. You know how on the seventh day of Creation God rested? Resting is pretty significant! When stress levels are at their highest, we need to remember to take a break, breathe and rest. Make sure you are getting enough sleep as that is a crucial part of restoration for the body and mind. Instead of counting sheep, count those sugar plums dancing through your head to help you doze!
Tip #3 Try to have some fun! There may be no room left in your calendar for one more Christmas Cookie Exchange party but wherever you are, be in the moment and be intentional about enjoying yourself with those you are with at the time.
Tip #4 Remember, it won’t last forever. This Christmas will fly by, just as all the others in the past have, so consider what you can do to maybe make a difference now before the season passes. How can you reach out to someone who maybe has no one else? How can you bring the joy of this season to another? And when you do, don’t be surprised when you are filled with joy as well!
So, let’s not just muddle our way through another Christmas, only going through the motions! Sadly, so many are heard saying, “I just can’t wait for this season to be over.” This is a time to celebrate one of the most miraculous and hope-filled events in the history of mankind. To remember how a baby boy was born to a virgin. Time to dwell on the specialness of how God chose that night, some two-thousand years ago to send his Son to save all who would believe in him. And, when the stress or sadness comes as it does this time of year, remember Immanuel, God with us, and reflect on how this truly is the most wonderful time of the year because of Jesus!
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)
Have a very merry and blessed Christmas!
Devotional Area Coordinator
Teresa is a wife, mother, a first-time grandmother, friend, daughter, who loves her family and friends and strives to seek moments to treasure with them each day in some small way! Teresa has learned the importance of being intentional about treasuring each day as a precious gift from God. Inspiring and encouraging others with the written word is Teresa’s desire.