An Intentional Christ-Centered Christmas Begins with Me
The last few weeks have been hard. I’ve been sicker than a dog and I got sick during my son’s 16th birthday party while I had a house full of teens.
Then there was family drama. Which left me in tears.
And then came Thanksgiving and all of its demands. After it was all said and done, the next day, I was in tears again.
I processed my situation trying to figure out the breakdown….
Not enough communication?
Taking on too much?
Were my expectations too high?
What would I do differently next year to avoid a repeat of this?
And most importantly, how do I make sure this same scenario doesn’t play out during the Christmas season? Because, really, I’m not fond of crying, exhaustion, or being angry. And I was all three of these this past Thanksgiving!
There’s something about a woman and her home and family.
We bring in many of the traditions and memories that we’d like our family to have.
We have certain ideals and dreams. Some are lofty, while others could be quite simple.
But the hearts, to me, are what matters most in my home.
Of course I love the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
The idea of home-baked treats that we give to friends and family.
And don’t even get this recovering perfectionist and OCD gal started on using coordinated wrapping paper! Right now I’m drawn to the natural looking brown wrapped boxes with the exquisite bows placed on top.
But while there is nothing wrong with the above pursuits, I find that I could easily get caught up with those ideals and miss what I truly want to experience in my home during the Christmas season.
And this one pursuit is simple.
It’s Jesus. More of His presence in my life and in the life of my family.
More of His presence will bring more of His peace.
I desperately need more peace right now. How about you?
More of His presence will bring more of His love into my heart. Yep, I need this too.
I need more of His love so I’ll have the strength to love others. Because, well, it’s not easy loving sinners.
I want all of the above.
But I can’t create a Christ-centered Christmas if I’m not centered on Christ. Simple concept, right?
It starts with me, the woman of the home, who sets the tone of her home.
What’s in my heart?
What am I feeding off of?
Am I walking in the flesh or in the spirit? Because the more I walk in the flesh, the more it will impact my family in a negative way. And the more I walk in the spirit, the more nourished and encouraged their souls will become.
Sure, I could buy them the latest and greatest gifts, but one gift we could all use more of is the aroma of a woman who spends more time with Jesus.
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet–smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2
So I ask myself these questions so I can be intentional about creating a Christ-centered Christmas this year. Perhaps these questions will cause you to ponder and reflect on the type of Christmas you’d like to have.
What brings you joy? Find those things and head in that direction. For me, it’s spending time in fellowship with other Believers. I also happen to love listening to Christmas music centered on the Savior.
What are the things you loathe doing? Hands down, it’s cooking. Cooking. And more cooking. Of course I cook for my family on a regular basis, but the idea of preparing food on a much grander scale, well, let’s just say I’m fine going to a restaurant!
What are the things/activities that you need to say ‘no’ to so you’ll have the physical and emotional energy to say ‘yes’ to what you really want to do? This answer varies each year based on the ages of our sons, our finances, the state of my health, etc.
Who do you want to spend time with during the Christmas season? Are they people who draw you closer to Jesus or those who drain you and draw you away from Him? Always a tough and sensitive subject. But let’s face it. Some relationships are toxic and need to be pruned.
Are you willing to guard your faith and your time with your Savior before you’re filled with the many distractions this season brings? I’m in pursuit of a sacred and sane season rather than a season where I lose my sanity. Therefore, this is the one area that I have to be the most mindful of.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45 (NIV)
If you’ve got young kiddos in the house, grab my short ebook on, How to Create a Christ-Centered Christmas for Your Kids. Many ideas in the book are hands-on and practical activities that will point your children to Jesus during His season. You can find a Christ-centered activity for them here.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
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As I learned over the years from my previous priest (pastor) …keep Christmas Simple !
You write 5 Christmas cards/day and by the time the week of Christmas comes for mailing them, you are done! Instead of getting writer’s cramps all in 1 or 2 nights. Bake just for those
that have truly done something for you over the year in your life ! Cut back on gift giving. family only. (I don’t buy gifts for girlfriends anymore that I lunch with, we all know/love each other – we don’t need gifts to prove that!) In the family, our family TRADITION for years has been everyone only gets 3 gifts (just like the 3 wisemen came and gave Jesus gifts, growing up, we got (1) piece of cloths, (1) pair of PJs (with the feet in them!), and a toy. We still do the same and so does my siblings. Now in this economic situation too, who can afford tons of gifts ? It is crazy. Keep it simple. Same with decorating your home, and outside, pick what you really want out there: nativity scene, a wreath, and door display or window display and that’s it! Sharing the SIMPLENESS of CHRISTMAS with all. We must all remember Jesus is the reason for the season, the BIRTH OF CHRIST. Go to church with family and friends too. That is most important. Opening gifts can be done later in the afternoon with a good meal, get those crock pots out, and reheat that way …it makes the woman’s life easier too with cooking!
Cute ideas, Anita. Thanks for sharing them here. I do the same with the presents!
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