I’m writing this just after the first Sunday of Advent. It’s the Christmas season. That time of year where we get too busy and where all kinds of things can get sideways in us and our relationships. It’s not supposed to be that way. It just sort of happens if we aren’t careful.
So with that in mind, let me offer some thoughts on things that will (hopefully) help you and me to have a better Christmas season. After all, as Christ followers we have the most reason to celebrate this time of year and all it represents. So we should celebrate in a way that honors God and keeps us from punching people in the mall.
(I know this isn’t really Church Health stuff – but it is what’s on my mind. If you want Church Health stuff – check out Church Health Thursday articles available on the FMCIC website.)
Stuff to help celebrate Christmas:
- Go to church. This seems like a no-brainer but people tend to skip church for all kinds of reasons and getting busy around the holidays would rank right up there. What better way to keep Christ at the center of our Christmas than to slow down and take time to worship and hear that old, old story
- Go to a Christmas Eve service. If your church doesn’t have one then find one. If you are travelling then find one. Step out of the rush and into the presence of God.
- Find a church having a kids Christmas pageant Nothing captures the joy of Christmas like kids. You need the smile this will bring. Enough with the going to church theme. On to other things.
- Read the Christmas story in your own quiet time or with your family. Step out of the rush and quiet your soul.
- Watch a Christmas movie with family and friends. I would recommend a redemption type story – A Christmas Carol (the Muppet version is my favorite) and The Grinch (animated version only). Pick your favorite and spend time with people you like, a snack you enjoy and just relax.
- Nothing is as counter cultural this time of year. Go caroling, volunteer somewhere, take someone shopping, babysit or serve. Do something for someone else. It will do your heart good.
- There is always a great deal of need in our world and this time of year brings it out more. Donate food, toys, books, blankets or coats.
- Give something.
- Invite people over. Make time for people you care about and who you haven’t seen in a while. Open your house and practice hospitality. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it will mean a great deal to the people you invite. Talk, laugh, share and pray. Do some life together.
- Find someone who is going to be alone this Christmas and make them part of yours. This can be the worst time of year for many people. You can change that for someone.
- Have a cookie, chocolate, nog, fruitcake or whatever your Christmas thing is and say thanks to a good God who makes good things possible.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Director of Church Health, FMCIC