Christmastime may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also pass in a flurry of frenzied activity, with no time to enjoy the significance of the season.
Below are ten suggestions for making the most out of Christmastime.
1. Die to self. Let your personal expectations go. Mortify your fleshly tendencies. And surrender yourself anew to serve the Lord this season.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.—Romans 6:11–13
2. Seek the filling of the Holy Spirit. Do you want the peace, love, and joy that is supposed to come with Christmas? Remember, it is a fruit of the Spirit. Yield yourself to Him, and His fruit will fill your Christmas.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;—Ephesians 5:18
3. Serve others. Christmas so easily becomes all about us. It’s not—it’s about worshipping Christ and serving others in His stead. He came to minister, not to be ministered unto. If you want to infuse joy into your Christmas season, look for people to serve! And if you want to be sure you do it, add service opportunities to your calendar!
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.—Philippians 2:4–8
4. Witness everywhere you go. December very well may be the busiest month of the year. If we’re not careful, we’ll let the extra events and activities crowd out our witness. In reality, Christmastime is one of the best times for witnessing. Wherever you go this month—shopping, extended family gatherings, etc.—look for opportunities to share the gospel.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.—Acts 8:4
5. Express gratitude and love. Create family memories; thank those whom you serve alongside. Resist the tendency to get so caught up in the bustle that you forget the people!
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,—Philippians 1:3
6. Remember those with special burdens. There are people around you—in your church, down your street, in your family—who carry special burdens. Often, Christmastime increases these burdens. Unemployed parents, single moms, bereaved spouses—all of these could use your encouragement and support. Reach out to them, perhaps even monetarily.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.—Galatians 6:2
7. Enjoy Christian fellowship. Host (or attend) a Christmas party for your Sunday school class or small group. Participate in your church’s special Christmas services or events. Don’t neglect your family (especially unsaved extended family) during Christmas, but do relish the opportunities to have Christ-centered fellowship with Christians.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;—Romans 12:10
8. Finalize December projects. Clean your work area. Grade tests. File papers. Wrap up pending projects. In short, unclutter your life. Don’t go into the New Year dragging almost-finished projects.
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.—Ephesians 5:16
9. Plan with team members for the New Year. Have a few meetings with your team to plan for the New Year. What can you do to synergize now and hit the ground running in January? Be team-focused and forward thinking. Nehemiah 4, which records one of the greatest team projects of all time, describes the strategy and teamwork involved.
They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.—Nehemiah 4:17, 21
10. Have written, Christ-centered goals for the New Year. I’m a huge proponent of writing out goals for the New Year. Even as an athlete who is serious about advancing in his career will set goals, I believe setting wise, measurable goals helps me press forward for the Lord with clarity and purpose.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.—1 Corinthians 9:25-27
I hope these ten tips are helpful to you in making the most of celebrating our Saviour’s birth. Merry Christmas!