The Thanksgiving turkey has been eaten and our Christmas tree is up. Even though I have been hearing Christmas music and seeing decorations at Wal Mart for the past few weeks, I think most people would agree that Christmas season officially starts now.
We often enter December with good intentions. We try to focus on the birth of Christ and to avoid the rampant consumerism that marks this time of year. We also hope that the Prince of Peace will show up in the midst of our busy schedules and our elaborate to-do lists.
But if your Imperfect and Normal family is like ours, you might end up getting caught up in it all and miss out on the wonder of Christ’s birth. Once Christmas is over, we’ll feel tired, disjointed, and farther away from the God who came near to us. I am determined to not let that happen this year.
With that in mind, I’m making a public declaration of what my family is going to do to get Christmas right. Perhaps you need to make a declaration, as well. Here are a few specific things that I’m going to do this year…
Ten Ways to (Not) Screw Up Christmas
1. We will not go into debt buying stuff that we (and our loved ones) don’t need.
2. The question, “What do you want to GIVE for Christmas?” will be asked of my kids far more often than, “What do you want to get?”
3. We will listen to Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, and the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. We will watch The Nativity Story movie, just because it’s awesome.
4. We will create a nice Christmas card to share with friends and family but we will NOT evaluate our family’s value by comparing our card/photo to everyone else’s. (Thank God for Facebook so we don’t have to write those “update letters” anymore.)
5. When all the cousins in our family get together on Christmas Eve, there WILL be some form of thrown-together Christmas play involving kids in costumes made from bed sheets.
6. I will probably eat too much. But I will try not to be unhealthy about it. And I will pray that God would give me an overwhelming sense of gratitude for His blessings in my life.
7. My family will buy something from the World Vision Catalog that will bless someone in a third world nation. I’m voting for a goat.
8. I will enjoy watching my team play in a bowl game. However, I will not let the outcome significantly affect my mood. It's just a game. Say it again: it's just a game.
9. We will treasure the time we have to spend with the older people in our families. I don’t ever want to be guilty of taking them for granted again.
10. Finally, I will spend more brainpower on the wonder of the incarnation than on my shopping list. Honestly, can we ever be anything but awestruck when we contemplate the reality that the God of the Universe became a fetus within the womb of a teenager?
That’s my list to help me to not screw up Chistmas. I’m curious…What will YOU do to get Christmas right this year?
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