In yesterday’s post we discussed the reality of disappointment this Christmas, after we decided to postpone our traditional large family Christmas gathering earlier in the week. It’s a sad time for many of us because this Christmas may not look like what we are used to. You know, we’ve experienced disappointments of all sorts in 2020, so why would Christmas be any different, right? We were hoping it would be different, but here we are, still finding our way through this pandemic.
It’s good to acknowledge our disappointment. Because only when we acknowledge how we are feeling can we accept reality and move forward in it. So, it’s okay to be disappointed this Christmas. Even if we don’t want to be.
It’s what we do with that disappointment that matters.
This disappointment doesn’t have to devastate Christmas. No. Actually, we can use it as a springboard for this season. We can allow it to propel us to make this season special in spite of it. When we accept the disappointment, we can do something about it. We can actually use it as a force of good. Believe it or not, disappointment can be a good thing.
What?? Because when we are disappointed, the focus is on ourselves. After we acknowledge it, feel it, and accept it, you and I have the freedom to flip that disappointment and use it for something good. Especially in the lives of others. Because we both know if we’re feeling this way, others are feeling it too in this season.
So, how can we make their lives better this Christmas? What can we do to bring others joy? How can we help a disappointed family, neighborhood, world have a merrier Christmas?
5 Simple Ways To Use Our Disappointment For Good This Christmas
1 – Pray for the Disappointed
Since we know how disappointment feels, we know how others must be feeling this season. Prayer may seem “intangible,” but actually, it may be the best thing we can do for someone. When we pray for someone we are inviting God into his/her situation. It can be short and sweet, but prayer is important. It could go something like this:
Father God, I lift Suzie to You today. You know she is disappointed and discouraged this season. Because You are in control of all things, and You love her even more than me, would you draw her to You today? Please encourage Suzie’s heart and somehow let her know You are with her. Equip her to see You in her circumstances and give her hope. Help her to use her disappointment for good this season. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
2 – Elf Deliveries
My friend Rachel (rachelshelb.com) and her family makes what she calls Elf Deliveries! Each year she bakes yummy Christmas treats, and she and her family deliver them to her neighbors. (Don’t you want to be Rachel’s neighbor?? I do!) She wants her neighbors to know if they every need anything, their house is a friendly one to approach. (I did this yesterday and had a ball doing my deliveries! It lifted my spirits and made me smile!)
3 – Send Christmas Cards
Go purchase some inexpensive Christmas cards (or make your own), write a few lines of hope and encouragement inside, and send the cards off to people in care facilities, the elderly in your church, or others you know who are isolated. You don’t even need to know them personally. What a special gift your words in a card can be for someone today! What a a way to send joy!
4 – Donate Food to Food Banks or Shelters
The next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a few extras for your local banks or homeless shelters. Now, maybe more than ever, people are in need of non-perishable food items such as canned goods, boxed dinners, peanut butter, noodles, even some bagged Christmas candy. Other items in demand in homeless shelters is socks, hats, and mittens. Call them in advance and see what is needed most. This will bless many in need this season!
5 – Find Ways to Connect with Others
Whether it’s through a phone call, a video chat, a Zoom call, or text, get creative in finding ways to spend time with others. Stay connected with those who are feeling discouraged and disappointed. Help those who are lonely remember they are not alone. People need the reminder that others (we) care, especially during a holiday season where personal contact is discouraged.
What did I miss? What should we add to this list?
Helping others, helps us.
Isn’t it interesting, when we help other disappointed families, neighbors, friends, and strangers, we help ourselves? We see there may be purpose in our disappointments. We find those disappointments are less painful when we use them for good and for God’s glory. What’s one thing you can do today to use yours for good?
Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:16 CEV
God bless you, friend. I’m so grateful for you!