Having a "Mary" Christmas:
Keeping "Christ" in Christmas with Practical Ideas
Do you find yourself stressed each Christmas, trying to "DO" all of the activities of the holiday, only finding yourself depleted and wondering if your family celebrated the true meaning of Christmas?
What are practical tips and ideas you can share that celebrate Christ and simplifies Christmas?
Thanks for joining us at the Well....it's been awhile since I have joined in the conversation. Life has been crazy here at the Berta house (and two weeks without a computer- ugh!). But, I have checked the questions each week, pondering and praying over them. So, if you are unable to write about this week's question, don't sweat it! My prayer is that you will take time to ponder it, though, and think about your own Christmas traditions.
Are there ways to bring Christ into these traditions? (Like the "Gift with Purchase" idea below that spreads Christ's love during shopping.)
Are there areas which need to be simplified?
Are there areas in which do NOT glorify God and need to be rethought?
Please share your own thoughts, ideas, traditions if you can.
And, please check out my devotion on "Having a 'Mary' Christmas" at the Cafe on Thursday.
I have personality of doing and doing- kind of like Martha. My sweet husband used to say "you're going overboard, Tracy." I said "used to" because, thankfully God has helped me in this area. I want to do it ALL. I want to be involved in everything! But, I know that I have to be careful or I will do too much, stressing myself out and my family.
So, I have tried to make choices of WHAT to do to glorify God. For example, I love caroling. The kids and I love to carol and have hot chocolate (singing is NOT one Brian's favorite things). So, we go caroling at the nursing home.
Each year I host a cookie exchange. I love to entertain. I love to make food, decorate, give out door prizes....About 4 years ago I began sharing my testimony during the evening. I serve my guests, making sure it is a wonderful evening, and then share what God is doing in my life. I try to invite new ladies each year, including how important God is to me. This is a fun way to share my faith with friends and neighbors.
When I send out Christmas cards, I choose cards that tell about what Christmas is about- the celebration of the birth of Jesus. When I write our Christmas letter, I include what God is doing in our lives, taking the opportunity to share our faith.
With the kids, I love to do advent activities as a family. Family Life Today has a wonderful book and activity called "What God Wants for Christmas." As we look forward to Christmas, we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We watch videos of the Nativity story. We want our kids (and ourselves for that matter!) to remember that the meaning of Christmas is Christ!
For me, the most important thing is keeping my relationship with JESUS the most important thing of Christmas! It sounds so strange- I mean, after all, Christmas is Christ! But, if I am not careful, I can let all of the activities interfere with keeping Christ the focus of Christmas. I can become stressed and anxious, taking it out on my family! But, this is the time when I should be experiencing perfect peace and creating peace in m home. So, when I become anxious, I step back, evaluate what I am doing and think about what I need to take out of my schedule. I have realized that I can say NO to things and requests. (One busy year I even decided NOT to send out Christmas cards! It was a relief not to have one more thing on my "to do" list.) We don't have to do all of our traditions every year. Christmas should be peaceful and joyful!
So, my prayer for you is that this Christmas is filled with peace, love, and joy. I pray that if you become stressed, you, too, will take a step back and evaluate what is important and what could be taken out. I pray that you will bask in the peace of Christ, filled with His love and joy. I pray that as you celebrate His birth, you will be overwhelmed with hope.