We have entered the season of the year where we experience long traffic lines, a stretched budget, lines at the shopping malls and longer days when there are parties and gatherings to attend either after work or on the weekend. There is cooking, baking and decorating of our homes for the guests and the drop-ins as well. There are church choir rehearsals and children’s costumes to make.
It is an exciting time of the year. We enjoy the Hallmark Christmas movies that seem to give us hope that there are happy endings in this world; we enjoy taking a drive in the evening and seeing the homes illuminated in colors and nativity scenes; We partake in foods that had been taboo for the last year, yet we truly enjoy their flavors.
But as you continue throughout the next few weeks, there are four important components that you may want to ensure you have with you as you enter your Christmas activities
Whether it is the long lines, the dirty dishes from all the baking, or the monotone drone from that one relative that you end up sitting beside at the family gathering, you can never have enough patience. These are trying times and the best thing to do is smile through it and continue to praise God and remember that Jesus is the real reason for this celebration. I have personally found that when I sing a praise and worship song in my head while I am in a long line or even while I am listening to a long winded soul, it is a tremendous help.
There will be many opportunities to partake in either drink or food items that you may regret what you did in the morning. It isn’t a sin. It really isn’t. But, the more pure your body has become, the more likely you will feel the negative results of consuming something that is considered foreign to your body and you will certainly experience physical symptoms. Every time I consume any refined sugars, my nose runs. I will also develop a headache if I consume too much of a food or liquid that has artificial ingredients in it. None of these symptoms are life-threatening. These are just measures my body has taken to immediately inform me that I am on the wrong road and need to get back on the right one. If you do choose to imbibe, please consider drinking a lot of water to flush the foods out quickly, and you may even want to consider some digestive enzymes and/or activated charcoal if you feel a bit poorly after the heavy meal.
Stay Laid Back
There will be numerous instances when time is not on your side. You may have thought the party was over and there are still two more hours to go; The conversation turns to a topic that you have a passion about, but no one else seems to share it; The children have missed their nap time and it is becoming blatantly obvious; Even events that you normally enjoy have become noisy, long and difficult. Try to give it all up before you even enter the experience. Don’t go in with any expectations. Just place it in the Lord’s hands and specifically ask Him to give you exactly what you need to make a difference in this situation. It isn’t about you—no matter how challenging it becomes. Try guessing who or what it is about and then ask God to help you in that specific instance.
Sense of Humor
Humor goes a long way. Instead of lecturing, or pontificating, just sit back and smile. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “…if necessary, use words.” Use your humor in a way that is neither provocative nor hurtful, but allow people to see a situation in a different way and then they too, can enjoy the levity that you created. Just remember, the event will be long gone, but your words will be all they will remember. Make them meaningful but don’t be mean.
Christ was born. He is the reason for Christmas. Allow yourself to dwell on this thought as you meander your way through what has come to be known today as the Christmas season. Play only Christ-centered music to fill your mind and heart with His meaning. This will strengthen you in those moments where you need His support and don’t forget to ask Him for more. He is fully aware of what is going on and it is entirely possible He is grooming you for something else down the road. Keep your eye on the Cross and all other road blocks are truly just stumbling blocks designed to distract you, but the Cross is clear and firm, so just fix your eyes on Him. Enjoy this Christmas Season!