We have homes to decorate.

Gifts to purchase.

Baking to complete.

Parties to attend.

Children’s programs to enjoy.

Travel arrangements to make.

Menus to plan.

And food to prepare.

On top of that, we have jobs to hold down, classes to pass, carpools to drive, bills to pay, piles of laundry to finish, house cleaning to do before company arrives, exercise to fit in, and oh, we need to sleep too.

Whew! Schedules can be overloaded and over-the-top this season.

It’s no wonder we get stressed and can’t sleep. It’s no wonder we get sick, weary, and worn out. It’s no wonder we find unrest in our souls.

And it’s no wonder, despite all we do to make the holiday special, we can end up missing Christmas.

In years past I was so busy preparing for the perfect Christmas, and so busy in the hustle and bustle, I put my activity and to-do lists ahead of soaking in the season. I chose to focus on wrapping presents instead of unwrapping the gift of Christmas. I ran into stores and malls, and unintentionally away from the birth of my Savior.

I was physically present on Christmas day, but too tired to enjoy it. Everything was crossed off my lists, but the most important wasn’t even inked on them. I remembered to do everything else, but I forgot to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

I was missing Christmas.

Are we missing ChristmasI pray you’ve never experienced this. I pray you’ve kept the reason for this season a priority. But just in case you’re feeling a fragment of you and your family missing Christmas this year, there’s still time to make some adjustments.

It’s been a number of years now this realization smacked me between the eyes. I now choose to prepare for Christmas differently. I give myself permission and some grace to let things go. And I’m freed up to do what’s important… preparing my heart for Jesus’ birth, and spending time with those I love.

The changes I made didn’t happen overnight, but season after season what’s truly important has risen to the top of my list.

5 Ways To Keep You And Your Family From Missing Christmas

1  –  Decide What’s Important

What’s most important to you and your family? Is it spending time together baking, or does holiday baking add stress to your season? Is decorating important? Consider decorating together. Is having a big Christmas meal a tradition you enjoy, or is cooking not your thing? Discuss what’s important with your family, and celebrate accordingly. Let go of everything else.

2  –  Read The Christmas Story

We began to do this together when our children were young. Bible Study Fellowship puts out a Home Training Lesson each year which helps us parents teach our children the Biblical story of Christmas, and it’s not only perfect for little ones, it’s perfect for us older ones too. You can break it down into daily readings, or read it all at once, like we used to on Christmas Eve. Click here for the lesson.

3  –  Put Jesus First

After all, it’s His birth we’re celebrating. I still remind myself this truth. Find ways to keep Jesus first in your daily activities. Pray. Sing Christmas songs. Talk about Him at the dinner table. Share the truth of His birth with others.

4  –  Ask, “Does This Matter?”

If something goes wrong (something usually does, right?), like the cookies are burnt, the present doesn’t come in time, or the tree falls over, ask yourself, “Does this really matter in the big scheme of things? Does this alter Jesus’ birth?” If not, then do what you can to let it go. Even if it’s important, keep the focus on what matters.

5  –  Be A Light

By keeping the proper perspective this season, we can’t help but influence others for good. We can each be a bright beacon of the hope we have in Jesus to this increasingly dark world. Let’s go out of our way to help, bless, share, or give to others, and actively show the love of Jesus wherever we are.

Our Christmases over the years have been imperfect at best. But that’s what makes them special.

May these next days be filled with all of Jesus as you set your heart toward His birth. May He bless you with His love, His presence, His peace, and His goodness.

Merry Christmas, friend! And may we never miss a Christmas again.

Much love,

Julie

 

Linking this post with Kelly for #RaRaLinkup, and Holly for #TestimonyTuesday.

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