Welcome to my series on Stress-Free Living! This year, we’re going to approach the Holidays with a different attitude – not one of worry and stress, but one of peace and gratitude! With God’s help, we can do this! If you’re new to the series, you can find the other posts here.
Old Slewfoot, that nasty old red serpent, is at it again. He’s broken up homes, wrecked lives, and ruined reputations, and now he’s stolen Christmas! Much to his delight, the Christmas season is a completely “non-Jesus” holiday, full of the things Old Slewfoot loves best: covetousness, pride in impressing folks with our many decorations and expensive gifts, alcohol, and sexual perversion.
He’s even gone so far – and done it quite successfully – in replacing Christ with a jolly red-suited fellow! After all, people can’t refuse someone who is happy, kind to all, and generous…can they? Ah, yes, Old Slewfoot stole Christmas.
The Holiday Season has changed a lot over the years, and it seems to me that Christians have changed a lot too. I’m not sure about this, and this is just theory, but I think this very well may be the way it happened.
Christmas has historically and biblically been all about Christ – his incarnation (can you imagine that? GOD becoming man?? Royalty becoming peasant? Lord becoming servant??) His lowly birth, and His miraculous fulfillment of the Scriptures, and how He came to earth to bring salvation to a needy world which could not come to Him on its own.
It’s a wonderful time of years to reflect on the person of Christ as well as His goodness and love, and to thank Him for who He is in addition to what He does.
Unfortunately, Old Slewfoot snuck in and stole Christmas, right before our eyes! But let’s not let that happen to us – let’s have a Christian Christmas! Here are some ideas to keep the Holiday Season from becoming a covetous free-for-all:
1. Remember KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid! It’s very easy to get into the huge stream of activities, concerts, parties, decorating, and gift-giving. None of these are in themselves bad, but they can quickly make us so busy that we are unable to spend time doing the things we really should be doing – enjoying the Christ Child and spending time enjoying our family.
2. Don’t overdo the gifts – One day I heard about a family that wanted to find a way to make the gifts more special, so they decided to only give 3 gifts to each family member, just like the wise men gave to Jesus. We adopted that practice several years ago, and it was a big help to us. Not only does it help us concentrate on giving quality gifts, it makes each gift more meaningful.
4. Less Stress = Happier Holiday! Schedule a time to have Nothing Planned. This year we had a lot of company for the Thanksgiving Holiday, as well as several birthdays the same week, so the day after the holidays, I purposely scheduled a day “off.” Whenever anyone asked me what was going on that day, I told them there was “nothing planned.” It was a glorious time of relaxation – just what I needed going into the Christmas season. You may not get a whole day (I didn’t either – I ended up going to the church to work!) but even a few hours of “nothing planned” can be heavenly!
3. Read through the Christmas story. You could do this over a period of several weeks before Christmas, like some folks do, or you could read the story of Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning. Either way, the children get to see that Christmas is more than a happy day – it commemorates the birth of God in the flesh!
Old Slewfoot is sneaky and sly…watch out for him: Don’t let Old Slewfoot steal your Christmas!
Question: What are some ways you keep Christ in Christmas?
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