Since I wrote my last post, I realized that, so far, I haven’t put anything practical into place to make this new way of doing Christmas a reality. And I want it to be a reality. I truly do want Christmas to look and feel different for me and my family this year. So I’m brainstorming some ways that I can do this, and I hope that maybe some of them will help you too, as we pursue a new way of doing Christmas, together.
My husband and I both got hit with the flu this past weekend. UGH. The flu. It totally wipes you out and makes you feel like you’ll never feel normal again, even if you’re only out for 24 hours. This morning I woke up feeling better, (praise hands!), and my husband’s on the mend as well. In full disclosure, I had started puking one night and my husband was consoling me. When I was feeling a bit better, I want back out to the couch and asked him to come sit down next to me. We sat there, without the TV on, without our phones in our hands, and we just looked at our lit Christmas tree. I asked him which ornament was his favourite and he asked me.
This moment made me realize how much time we spend busying our minds instead of being still. It took both of us getting physically ill to realize that we’ve had really busy minds lately. And, to be honest, a lot of the time we do this to ourselves, don’t we? We don’t want to be alone with our own thoughts so we scroll through instagram or put on another TV show or check the weather. None of these things are bad. But when we realize that our busy minds might actually be making us sick… then yes, that’s a problem. I mean, I don’t know if it was that that made us sick but I think our minds and bodies are more connected than we know.
So… this brings me back to the brainstorming session. How can we create a new way of doing Christmas? How can we have quiet hearts before the Lord in a season that is full of busy? Here’s some practical ways I’m seeking to do that…
- Let my mind be at rest. What does this look like practically? For me, it means getting off of my phone. The first thing I do when I wake up, usually, is take my phone off airplane mode and check the weather and my bible app, then texts, then Instagram. Ok… so that’s not a horrible thing in and of itself. But what if I left it on airplane mode until I’ve had some time to be still each day? I’m going to keep my phone on airplane mode until I’ve had breakfast and coffee with my family. It’s simple right? But it allows space for my mind to be at rest first thing in the morning. And maybe instead of looking at the verse of the day on my iPhone, I’ll take out my bible instead. (I love bible apps, but sometimes it’s just too easy to switch straight from that to Insta or Facebook). So yes, real bible in hand for me this December.
- Find some ways to spread His love. One could say that buying your family gifts is spreading Christ’s love. But I think this time of year offers a unique opportunity to do even more. Jesus invites us to see the world in a different light and to pay attention to the deep needs of the people and communities around us. I want to set aside some time to pray for these people- those who are hurting, alone and broken this Christmas. And I want to find a practical way to bring a smile to someone who is hurting right now. That might mean baking them cookies or inviting them over for dinner. I’m going to ask the Lord who he wants to show His love to specifically this season and then do something about it. Not just to make myself feel better, but to actually, tangibly, spread His love.
- Let the magic of the season remind me of the Kingdom and lead me to worship. What I mean by this is that I allow all of the wonder and beauty that this season brings- lights, delicious food, Christmas movies, stockings, gifts, stars, trees, garland, carols, cards, snow, candles- to point to the beauty of my Saviour. I recognize that He is the Creator of ALL THINGS and he has given us many gifts to enjoy in His beautiful world. And at Christmas, we get to see so many of these gifts in a magical way. Let the magic bring reminders that we wait for a Kingdom much more amazing, more magical and more glorious than anything this world offers.
I truly do want this Christmas season to be different. I long to have a heart of worship. I hope these practical suggestions encourage you to do the same. To Him be the glory as we seek a new way to do Christmas! xo