(Inside: Find joy in your Christmas season. Despite the busy, the hustle, and the to-do list, find joy.)
It doesn’t matter how many broken ornaments we pull out of the box reminding us of our inferior packing abilities. And it doesn’t matter if the Christmas lights work or not. It makes no difference how many times my boys get distracted and wrestle or – even better – army crawl under the tree inviting it to fall over.
Decorating for Christmas always feels magical.
There’s a hovering in the air, a warmth. It feels like joy. It feels like the Holy Spirit. I don’t know why through this family tradition Jesus’ presence feels strong, but I have a suspicion…
After one stressful Christmas, my husband and I learned to say no and made some decisions to take the holiday stress out of the season. I think that decision made room in our hearts where the stress used to be for us to better notice the One whom we are celebrating.
Jesus promises to get our attention in life. He says:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20, NIV).
I love that the verse says He stands. He doesn’t leave. He waits for us to notice and invite him in.
He wants an invitation into our lives. So, I ask you – what traditions help YOU see Jesus reveal himself through His peace, love, and joy in this season?
What gives you joy?
- Christmas Eve Service at your church surrounded by your church family?
- The late-night, holiday hallmark sappy romance special on you wouldn’t be caught dead watching around your successful coworkers, while you sip mint cocoa and slowly wrap gifts.
- Meeting your mom at the mall and power shopping all day with stops for hot cinnamon-sugar pretzels, coffee, and lunch?
- Baking cookies with your kids?
- Shopping for gifts off the angel tree or food for the holiday gift baskets for those in need?
- Making your family dress in ridiculous, matching pajamas and posting them on Facebook much to your middle schoolers’ dismay?
What steals your joy?
- Cooking for 35 people. (Can you ask people to bring more food?)
- Over-the-top gift giving? (Can you change this tradition?)
- Christmas party hopping? (Can you spend quality time with one family and leave the next holiday for other loved ones?)
- Too much on your plate? (Can you disappoint someone and say “no?”)
The holiday was never meant to be stressful. That’s the “bigger is better” mentality that sneaks into our brains and convinces us to join in the fun, except it turns out to be a total drag. We don’t want one million events and things and to-dos. Nope, we just want to feel joy.
The joy of being around our loved ones.
The joy of a break from the routine to focus on what’s most important in our lives.
The joy of celebrating our Awesome God of Grace and His gift of Jesus.
The joy of the magic of the season – which happens to my family while decorating for Christmas. So this year, in your sweet holiday tradition, I hope you feel big love – Jesus’ crazy deep love.
And for those who follow my blog, thank you. You show big love to me. I don’t know when this blog became so important to me, but it is. So, thank you for being a part of it. From the bottom of my heart, Merry Christmas.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.