Christmas has always been a special time for me. I am simply in love with Christmas and every year, regardless of what’s going on, I look forward to the experience that Christmas brings. To me Christmas is a spiritual and emotional joy.
But, the holidays can bring sadness and stress to many who associate Christmas with some negative aspect of their life, or simply get overwhelmed with the expectations of what the holiday should be like.
So this year, I’d like to help everyone keep Christmas simple and joyful with seven simple suggestions.
1. Keep Christmas a spiritual event. Remember that Christmas is a celebration of the greatest gift ever given – the gift of Jesus Christ. If you can keep in mind what Christmas is truly about, you’ll have less stress and worries about the expectations and stuff that really doesn’t matter as much as the spiritual celebration of a very Holy day.
2. Keep things simple. Do less this Christmas. Focus more on the “spirit” of Christmas than on the actions of buying, decorating, cooking, etc.
3. Let Decorating be a family event. All the fun trappings of Christmas can become a chore if you have the wrong attitude. Instead of being forced into decorating the tree and putting up lights, turn it into a family event. Make some hot chocolate and have everyone get together and participate to decorate the tree, put up lights, and set up the household decorations. Get out the camera and enjoy the moment together as a family. Relax and don’t focus on perfection or have pre conceived expectations of how things “should” be, but just enjoy the togetherness of family or friends.
4. Write Christmas cards. This can be done while the children are asleep or as a family. But I believe it’s an important part of keeping in touch with family and friends and can bring joy to someone who might be lonely or feel unloved during the holiday.
5. Show gratitude by donating to good causes or reputable charities. Ask others to donate to a favorite cause instead of buying gifts for you. You can donate to the donotbediscouraged community here.
6. Simplify your expectations of the holidays. Don’t expect everything to go a certain way or be perfect. Life is like art, and perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Just enjoy things as they are and as they come.
7. Serve others. Focus on family, friends, and those who need a little love. Extend the charitable concepts of tolerance and forgiveness and be joyful. Please don’t forget the elderly or single folks in your life. Remember those who have nothing or worse – nobody – to share Christmas with.
So, this Christmas, remember to keep your priorities on the spiritual aspect of the holiday and keep things simple. Enjoy this special holiday and embrace the attitude that Christmas brings to even the most secular of people; peace, love, and good will to all.
Please pray for me this Christmas and rest assured that my prayers are with you.