It’s the most wonderful time of the year —- or is it? Is Christmas a time of great joy for you? Or is it a time of great stress? Maybe you’re like “Scrooge” with a “Bah humbug” attitude? Or maybe it’s just a difficult time for you.
How to have your best Christmas ever – in 10 tips
Christmas time should be filled with wonderful memories, sights, sounds, and smells. Christmas should be a time of great joy! However, for some the busyness, the stress, or maybe difficult memories or circumstance can make Christmas time anything but joyful. In this short post you will discover how to have your best Christmas ever!
The following are 10 Tips, – 5 practical and 5 spiritual, that will help make and keep your Christmas one of great joy.
5 PRACTICAL TIPS
1. Plan. Just a little preparation before Christmas can make all the difference. Make plans for what you HAVE to do and the things you WANT to do. Make a to-do lists with the things that need to be done and prioritize the list the best you can. Consider how realistic your plans are. (see step 2) Create margin in your plans. This is HUGE! This will make space for the unexpected or unplanned things that always pop up. Make sure to include Christmas Eve or Day church service. (Also, include plans to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” It helps put things in perspective) CLICK HERE TO WATCH the final 10 minutes
2. Be Realistic Have realistic expectations for the season. Not being able to meet all of the often-excessive expectations is what creates frustration and stress. You don’t have to do everything – make cookies, go to the office party, school program, etc. (see step 3) Don’t worry about how clean the house is or how perfect the table is set or if you have the right gifts or may no gifts at all.
3. It’s ok to say no. In fact be ready to say no. You do not have to fix all the cookies and fancy dishes everyone asks for. You do not have to go to every event you are invited to. It’s ok to say no to the things that are not priorities.
4. Make a Budget. If you know exactly how much you are going to spend this Christmas, then shopping becomes much easier. Don’t feel pressured by the media, the advertisements, or other people to spend more than you intend. Don’t get caught in trying to keep up with the “Jones”. Make your budget fit for where you are financially.
5. Enjoy the process. It is not the destination that brings joy but the journey. Step back and take time to smell the roses as you navigate through the Christmas season. The journey is what creates memories that last. Enjoy the process!
5 SPIRITUAL STEPS
1. Take Time to Pray. “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11) Even though you get very busy during the Christmas season don’t neglect your time with the Lord. Start each day with some time in prayer and the Word of God. This is never wasted time but time that brings a harvest.
2. Cast your cares on the Lord. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1Peter 5:7) Resist the temptation to try and do it on your own this Christmas season. God wants to help you. He really does care for you. Learn to cast the cares of the season on Him and not carry them yourself!
3. Choose to Rejoice. “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, rejoice.” Joy is a choice. Our attitude is a choice. As the Christmas season unfolds, consciously choose to enjoy the process. Don’t allow circumstances or the pressure of all that needs to happen dictate your attitude. You choose to rejoice – for Christ is born. Let us rejoice always!
4. Rest in God. Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) The Christmas season can be the busiest and most chaotic time of the year. More than ever we need the rest Christ offers. So take a few moments today to rest in the presence of the One we celebrate – Christ the Lord – Prince of peace.
5. Keep then main thing the main thing. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
And last but not least remember what we are celebrating. Jesus is the source of joy and life. He is the reason for the season. Keep your focus on Jesus and you will experience the miracle of Christmas. Keep the main thing the main thing!
This can be your best Christmas ever regardless of the circumstances – Christmas alone, first Christmas without a loved one, Christmas with little or no finances, Christmas with a major health problem or some other major challenge — use these 10 tips and get ready to enjoy your best Christmas ever. Take charge and have what I call a “BREAKTHROUGH CHRISTMAS”!