Note: Guest Contributor Keri Kitchen, puts Christmas into perspective in this post. Please visit Keri’s blog to check out some of her other great posts.
‘Tis the season to be… stressed out? Classic signs of the season are the hustle and bustle of shoppers, beeping cash registers, tired, whiny children, and unhealthy expectations from family members about just how many houses you and your crew are capable of visiting for Christmas dinner. After a while, it seems like we miss the point, right? If we get to the point that we’re arguing over the Christmas sweater debacle of 2005, odds are that we’ve lost focus of God’s plan for both family relationships and the purpose of Christmas.
By history, Satan has always made efforts to distract us from the peace and joy of God’s truth and love. The holidays are no exception. In fact, during this time designed to celebrate the coming of the King to earth, we may find ourselves even more distracted from God’s plan. Be alert. Watch for the warning signs that you may be allowing too many distractions to interfere with what God has for you and your family. If you find that you are irritable, lacking patience (with your spouse, children, or others), tearful, or just lacking peace, it may be time to step back and reevaluate your focus.
Some ideas to help you re-focus may include:
- Dim the lights, sit by the Christmas tree, and read the Christmas story.
- Make a donation of food, money, or time
- Bake goodies for neighbors or loved ones (as a family!)
- Decorate Christmas cookies with the kids
- Write letters to your spouse, children, or other family members to let them know
- what you appreciate about them
- Set respectful boundaries for your family (respectfully let others know what you are capable of doing and what you are not- if necessary, offer an alternative!)
- Watch a Christmas movie with the family
- Make Christmas ornaments with the kids
- Start a new tradition
- Create a Christmas treasure hunt or other family game
- Make your own Christmas re-focus list
Christmas is about celebrating God’s immense love for us. The best way to honor God and his Love is to love your families. The best memories are not made from the must- have gift of the season, they are made from the time spent with loved ones. Don’t forget to extend God’s love to the others you encounter during this busy season either. After all, how many grumpy customers has the cashier already had to put up with before you entered her line?
EYM family, as you jump back into the Christmas festivities, what’s on your Christmas re-focus list?
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, volunteer youth pastor, and licensed mental health counselor. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com.