Christmas. The word can bring both great joy and a sense of heaviness at the same time. Joy because of what it represents – the birth of the Savior of the world – and heaviness because of all the self-imposed/imposed other’s expectations. Why is that? Perhaps there is a feeling of pressure from all the work involved in orchestrating the family traditions and celebrations. Some are worried about holiday bills, and others are worried about how to survive Christmas after a recent loss, such as a divorce, death in the family, or layoff from a job. Some are troubled by being childless or single or estranged from family and wonder how they can piece together a memorable celebration.

Every year we commit that this year will be different. We will simplify how we celebrate, but then we get swept up in the minutia of holiday preparations. Once the holiday ball gets rolling, it is hard to stop it. Then, when all is said and done and the season is over, we are exhausted and disappointed. Christmas was again the blur of shopping, wrapping, events, parties, and some crushed expectations. So, consider being proactive. Think about committing yourself and others to make this holy season richer in meaning and purpose.

Where to Begin

It is one thing to say you want to simplify how you will commemorate the holiday. But, first, you need to start with a few simple but meaningful statements that speak to the true spirit of Christmas. What matters most to you and yours? And to what are you committing?

The Spiritual Life Development Department has developed a Bible-based plan/devotional for December leading up to Christmas Day. In this daily devotional are some broad-swept points that you will have the opportunity to ponder as part of your daily quiet time with the Lord during these days of Advent. So may His Word become embedded within your soul that those concerns, thoughts, and activities choking the joy out of your worship and celebration of Jesus rise to the top. During this time, the Lord will help you focus on how to celebrate the Savior’s birth in a way that is unique for you. God will also help you open the doors to communicate this pledge with the significant people in your life.

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