How is it that the season first announced with peace and good will toward men (Luke 2:14) can become one of our most frazzled and hurried seasons of the year? Below are seven guidelines to help us keep the joy in Christmas:
- Remember the purpose of the holiday. Christmas was not set as a holiday to give families a time of exchanging gifts or a delicious dinner (although I appreciate both of these traditions!). It was not about school Christmas plays or office parties. Christmas is about Christ. Every day during this season, take time to worship Him. “O come, let us adore Him!”
- Remember others. There’s nothing that will boost your joy like encouraging another. Take your children to visit a local nursing home, write Christmas cards to the widows in your church, have another family over for dinner. Find ways to demonstrate to others the love we celebrate at Christmas.
- Don’t neglect unsaved relatives. Rather than avoiding unsaved relatives, anticipate the opportunities to spend time with them at Christmas. Let them know you’re thankful to be part of the same family, and look for opportunities to share the Gospel.
- Avoid debt. If you can’t pay for it in thirty days, don’t buy it. As much as we want to give our children everything they would like and more, we are giving them a greater gift if we are financially responsible. Besides, your love, time, and attention really does mean more than any toy or gadget to your children.
- Create memories. I’m thankful for Terrie’s carefulness to take pictures and make family times special. With both your immediate family and extended family, spend time shaping special memories for your children.
- Witness at every opportunity. Christmas is one of the easiest times of the year to witness. Steward this season wisely, and be prepared to share the Gospel everywhere you go. Hand out Gospel tracts, invite neighbors to your church, witness to unsaved loved ones. Look for opportunities, and you will be surprised how many there are!
- Prepare for the new year. Before January each year, I spend some time alone with the Lord setting goals for the coming year. I review each area of responsibility in my life and ask the Lord to direct me in how I can grow and reach further for His glory.
Follow these guidelines, and your Christmas can be “the most wonderful time of the year”!