Swinging From The Christmas Lights: Part 1

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Which Christmas movie best describes the scene in your home? 

Miracle on 34th Street?

 A Christmas Story? 

What about Christmas Vacation? 

Or maybe the season starts with the warmth and peacefulness of It’s a Wonderful Life and quickly disintegrates to the chaos of Home Alone?

Regardless of who is hanging (or swinging from) the Christmas lights at your house this moment, we’d like to help you get back to the peace, hope and joy that the season is meant to be about.  We’d like to help you enjoy the holidays.

“Ha!  You don’t live with the entitlement I have going on in my house.  Every day, there is another i-something added to the list my ELEMENTARY school children want for Christmas!”

“We can’t enjoy a meal together, let alone two weeks off.  My kids open their presents, maybe grunt a thank you, and then go right back to their phones and computers.  They won’t even talk to me, let alone spend quality time together over the holidays.”

“Peace is the last word to describe our home in the holiday season.  Things aren’t bad…they just have gotten so busy with visiting family and friends, parties to attend and shopping to accomplish.  Who has time to stop for peace?”

We’ve got just a few ideas we’d like to share with you for the rest of this week leading up to Christmas.  We’ll keep it to three, knowing you have time for exactly three less than that.  But we do believe the holidays can be different—and yes, even in your home…

#1 Stop, Drop and Be Grateful.

You don’t have to attend every party.  Your children don’t either, even though they may loudly insist they do.  Christmas isn’t about chaos and filling every moment on your calendar. 

Jesus was born in the simplicity of a stable.  Maybe we should take a clue from his celebration as to what it looks like to stop.  To let go of so many of the “necessities” of the holidays.

You can save time shopping by making gifts together as a family.  You could even schedule a “simplicity” night a week—where you celebrate Advent together…the quiet coming of our Messiah.  You can read Scripture, share stories, watch a Christmas movie, make hot chocolate.  A great game to play as a family comes is A Christmas Box, which creates opportunity for conversation around the holidays. 

It’s hard to be grateful when we don’t even have time to see the gifts God has given us.  Take the time.  Slow down and see those gifts in each other.  Enjoy your children…your spouse…a few special friends (not another Christmas party).  Dig deep this season, rather than spreading yourself thin.  You will enjoy yourself, your family, and the peace that is contained in the powerful simplicity of Jesus’ birth.

Share an idea that has allowed you to enjoy more connectedness in the Christmas season, and has allowed your family to experience Christmas in a different way. 

Part 2 Tomorrow: Make Giving The Focus