Tis the Season: A Different Approach to the Holidays

Tis the Season: A Different Approach to the Holidays

This morning, I sat down and felt overwhelmed.

And unmotivated. And tired.

Call me Scrooge.

I’ve felt this feeling before at this time of year. It’s not the first time.

If this is not how you feel when Christmas rolls around, then this post is probably not for you. :)

In past years, when this overwhelming feeling strikes, I usually push it down and ignore it. I make the cookies, but I grit my teeth. I decorate the tree but grumble inside. My unhappy spirit poisons the joy of the other members of my family.

This year, I long for something different.

I know what I don’t want. I know that going that route again will not get me different results. But what will?

As I took a deeper look at my past patterns, I realized something: I was driven and directed not by the Lord, but by my people-pleasing tendencies.

I feared that my family will be disappointed with me if I don’t do certain traditions. I worried about what I would look like to others if I didn’t send out that Christmas card or remember them with a gift. The expectations of others drove me, not the love of Christ.

Bingo.

Though it may seem obvious to you, the solution then became clear. In order for me to love well during this season, seeking God first in the midst of the busyness is the key to a different result.

In my faithlessness, it is easy for me to make others’ expectations and standards my goal, not the glory of God.  How often I live by sight, not faith!   

But if we are honest, this is probably not uncommon. It is easy to be caught up by the spirit of consumerism or distracted by the Pinterest boards full of ideas we could try.

So this morning, I stopped the crazy and asked the Lord how He wanted me to approach this holiday differently. I want to know what He thinks are the most meaningful traditions to focus on for my family. I prayed for eyes to see the deeper needs of my loved ones and asked for creativity to meet those needs. Sometimes that means not a gift on their wish list but one that thoughtfully ministers to them in an area of need.

Isn’t it ironic that this holiday celebrating the birth of our Lord has gone so far astray? If you are feeling this way today, I encourage you to press the pause button and turn back to our Savior.

What would honor You most? What do You want me to capture this season?

What traditions will help me show that honor? What do I need to drop?

What do You want for my loved ones in this season? What can I do to bless them and point them to You?

May God not only bless the work of our hands but turn our hearts to Him as well—even in the midst of this busy season.

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