Enjoying Christmas

One day in America, this conversation from women passing by a storefront nativity scene was overheard. One of the ladies said: ”Now they’re even trying to bring religion into it!”  (Duh?!)

How strange that people would think that Christmas is one giant party without understanding what the celebration is really all about.

Yvonne Chiarelli says “Our lives are busy all year long. How do we fit those things that we do once a year in an already overcrowded schedule? How do we fit in more time for shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, planning, partying, and traveling? It’s no wonder the holidays bring additional stress to many.”

She’s right.

Only a few people I know would take time this Holliday season to be still and be thankful for understanding the reason for the season. I’m sure many would spend the days worrying about what our economy will be next year.

Many business people are saddled with cash flow problems.

Uncertainty looms over the air.

Mergers and acquisitions will displace many people in their current positions.

Low sales, a weak economy and little purchasing power will force companies to continue with their personnel liposuction activities.

Listen.

Take time out. Let’s devise a strategy here so that we will not be spending the holidays in woes and sorrows and miss the true spirit of the occasion.

Enjoy the holiday season by doing the following things:

  • Say no to meetings that aren’t holiday celebrations.
  • Say no to requests that could be done after the holidays.
  • Say no to the routines that don’t add to or support your holiday experience.
  • Say no to the non-essentials.
  • Say no to the season’s aspects that don’t appeal to you.
  • Say no to inappropriate and unreasonable expectations.
  • And then:
  • Say yes to gratitude.
  • Say yes to allowing others their desired holiday experience.
  • Say yes to taking care of yourself.
  • Say yes to wider boundaries and higher standards.
  • Say yes to the parts of the season you enjoy the best.
  • Say yes to giving thoughtfully and accepting gifts with grace.
  • Say yes to expressing your best to others.
  • Say yes to forgiveness.
  • Say yes to fun.

Handcraft the holiday experience of your choice.

Here is a success formula for enjoying the holidays:

Let go of what’s not absolutely necessary. Participate with your family, friends, and colleagues. Smile and laugh a lot.

But the best suggestion is to understand what the real significance of Christmas is.

Let me present it to you based on the words from a Christmas card:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Notice this, as a child He was born of a virgin, as a son He was given.

The manger gave way to the cross many years later when He gave His life for us so that we may be saved.

And this is why the real meaning of Christmas is that the Savior has come but the real meaning of Christianity is not the manger but the empty tomb.

No, it’s not about the gifts and the parties, it’s not about cash flow, it’s not about stocks inventory and it’s not about our failing economy.

It’s all about putting accepting the Prince of Peace and allowing Him to reign in our hearts so that we may spend the rest of eternity with Him.

Then and only then do we enjoy Christmas.