“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” The lovely Christmas carol begins to play in our heads. (My apologies if this causes it to stay there and play all the live-long day. We all know what that’s like, right??) This Christmas song is likely one we’re familiar with, and I’m guessing you’ve heard it a few times already this season.
It’s a happy little ditty, highlighting joys of the season such as good cheer, kids ringing jingle bells, holiday greetings, friends visiting, parties, roasting marshmallows (yum!), caroling, telling stories of past Christmases, finding the mistletoe, hearts aglow, and spending time with family. This song extends to us the hope of a joy-filled Christmas season.
Yes, no wonder it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
But, is it? It also can be the busiest and most stressful time of year.
Some of us love this season and some of us don’t. Some of us embrace everything this season has to offer and some of us just can’t wait till it’s all over. Maybe some of us aren’t sure how we feel about the Christmas season. We’re just trying to make it through a tough and disappointing year. Yet, some of us find this season extra challenging. It can be a difficult time for many for several reasons and finding peace and goodwill might seem nearly impossible.
No matter in which category you find yourself this season, it’s okay. What if, however, we viewed this Christmas season through fresh eyes? What if we did what we could do to recapture its wonder and marvel at its beauty through the view of simplicity?
We might just uncover a season that’s memorable, more meaningful, and incredibly special.
How? Let’s start with one question.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Think about this for a minute. Search your heart. There’s no wrong answer. Your answer might be unique to you and totally different than anyone else’s. And that’s okay.
When I publicly asked this question on social media, on Facebook and Instagram I received responses ranging from various traditions to good intentions to simple meanings. Some mentioned Jesus, some mentioned family. I imagine some didn’t know how to answer, so they didn’t respond at all.
I’d love to hear from you today, what does Christmas mean to you?
I invite you to reply in the comments below.
The thing is, when we take time to answer this question we find out what’s most important to us. Then, based on our answer, we can tailor our activities, our time, our intentions to line up with what’s important. You and I can make what’s important to us our priority.
For example, two things are most important to me this season: 1) To keep Christ in everything I do this season to be able to celebrate His coming every day. 2) To celebrate and spend time with those I love as much as possible.
So, I plan to simplify my season by focusing on these two things, Jesus and my loved ones.
Everything else is less important to me. Everything else will fall as a lesser priority on my list. If I get to spend extra time with my family, but don’t get the baking done, then that’s a win. If I choose to do my morning Advent devotions instead of taking that time to hang a couple more decorations, then that’s also a win. I’m simplifying by focusing on what’s most important to me. I invite you to do the same.
Friend, I encourage you to focus on what’s important to you this season and let the rest go. When you do, I believe you’ll experience a season of less stress and more joy, less hectic and more calm, less weariness and more rest, less chaos and more Christ. (We’ll talk more about this in future posts.)
It may end up being the most wonderful time of year for you.
And, your best Christmas ever. God bless you, sweet friend. You are a gift!
This post was first shared at our BYOB and B evening of encouragement, Simplify the Season on December 9. Find more about BYOB and B here.
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Christmas to me is love. God’s love that he sent his Son and the love I share with my family and friends. I will try and follow your wise example and make love my focus this Christmas Season!
This is beautiful, Cindy. I’m so glad you shared what Christmas means to you here. I’m praying God helps you keep love as your focus this season. Many blessings, my friend!