Merry Christmas, friend! I know, we are still in November, but the season of Advent started on Sunday. So, even though it may seem a bit early, for this week and the next three, we are switching gears just a bit as we lead up to Christmas. (Christmas songs are already playing on the radio, and I may or may not have already begun listening!! So, maybe it isn’t so early after all.) But these podcast episodes will focus on keeping Christmas simple this year. They will be full of joy, hope, inspiration, and encouragement for our real lives this Christmas season. I pray these Christmas themed episodes will bless you, encourage you, and help you keep the main thing the main thing this season.
Here we are at the beginning of what some call the “most wonderful time of the year” and others call the “most stressful time of the year.”
So, how do you feel about Christmas?
Maybe I need to ask that question differently. How about we break it up into two parts, because I believe there are two parts to Christmas: Christmas, Jesus’ birth and Christmas the holiday. Because so much of our world has separated the two. Just look around and we see evidence of that.
So, the first question should maybe be this: How do you feel about Christmas, Jesus’ birth? Some of us love and appreciate and are immensely grateful for the hope we have through Jesus’ birth in the stable all those years ago, and we celebrate it in various ways. And yet, maybe some of us don’t. And the second question: How do you feel about Christmas, the holiday? Some of us may not care for the stress and strain that accompanies the Christmas holiday, and we try to avoid it all we can. And yet, some us love the hustle and bustle of it all.
Between you and me, Christmas is my favorite.
It’s my absolute favorite time of year. And even though our holiday traditions have changed over the years, and I don’t go crazy like I used to with trying to make our holiday perfect, I do all I can to blend Jesus’ birth and the holiday, together. I absolutely love listening to Christmas music and also pondering what that first Christmas must have been like. I enjoy wrapping presents, baking treats for our family, and decorating our home. Yet, I also intentionally participate in daily Bible readings for Advent. But, hands down, my two favorite things in this season are our Christmas Eve worship service at church with my family, and celebrating together afterwards and the following day. It’s all so special to me.
No matter how you feel about each part, I extend an invitation to you this year. I invite you to look at Christmas through fresh eyes. Both the birth of Jesus and the holiday. I invite you to join me in keeping Christmas simple this year.
But, is that even possible?
I share the reasons in this episode why I believe it is, as we look back to last year, and what “simple” really means. Click on the player above to listen to the full 18-minute episode.
I believe keeping Christmas simple can be done.
And I believe keeping Christmas simple keeps is special. It doesn’t get buried under all the other stuff and it helps us celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
We continue on this thinking as I share some lessons I’ve learn and am applying to my life in this season.
Keeping Christmas simple may make this Christmas the most memorable one of all. I am praying we celebrate this season, keeping in mind Who we are celebrating. I look forward to journeying through this season with you. God bless you. And Merry Christmas!
Links in this episode:
- Episode 16 The Difference a Grateful Heart Makes
- Stanley’s Christmas rant on The Office
- Encouragement for Real Life Community Facebook group
- Additional encouragement at julielefebure.com
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We did not celebrate last year like we normally do, and oh that was hard. Even though my kids are all adults, they craved that connection and tradition. This year we will be thrilled to be under one roof, eating and laughing together. And yes, exchanging gifts without awkward dropoffs and virtual celebrations (though I was glad we had that option).
Hi Ann! Last year was just plain difficult. I’m like your kids! I craved that connection and tradition, too. I’m so happy that you’ll be under one roof this year, doing all the fun things together. What joy! Thanks for being here and for sharing!