How to Make this Christmas Season Your Best One Yet

Christmas is such a beautiful time of year but unless we are intentional about how we spend our time and resources, it can come and go leaving us exhausted and disappointed.

Make this Christmas season one to remember! Enjoy the spirit of joy and rest in His peace. Here is how:

1. Let go of expectations

Christmas music, holiday movies and advertisements everywhere we turn can easily get our focus off the true meaning of Christmas. Not only do we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, we put them on others as well. 

Do you have a vision of perfection when it comes to the holidays?

Do you stress to find the perfect gifts or to make the perfect meals? Perhaps you are hoping for a romance just like in the movies?

Let go of unrealistic expectations. Learn to live in the moment, savouring the simple things of the season: a child's smile, colourful lights, a heartwarming song or a hot cup of tea.

2. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is an extremely powerful practice to implement in your life and what better time to cultivate it in your own life than right now.

Instead of focusing on what you don't have, focus on what you do.  You may find yourself single for yet another holiday but don't allow loneliness to rob you of enjoying your time with the people who already love and care about you.

You may not have all the latest gadgets and your car may be on it's last leg but when you begin to count all of your blessings you will be amazed at just how good you have it.

"In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

3. Give

When you live a life of gratitude, giving will come naturally.

Don't assume giving is centered around presents.

You can give of your time, and especially your presence. In a social media society people long for real connection. Spend your time enjoying people that you love. Volunteer at a nursing home, or lend an ear to someone who has no one to talk too.

(For more ideas on giving, see last weeks blog) 

4. Practice mindful eating

If your typical New Year's resolution is to lose the weight you gained in December you may want to put a plan in place to avoid that this year. There is a difference between enjoying a turkey dinner and stuffing your face until you feel sick. I have done the latter and don't recommend it.   

Don't just eat something because it's in front of you. Think about what you are putting in your mouth. Take time to enjoy it and feel good about it. If you know something will make you feel bloated or tired, think twice about eating it. You will not miss out on the joy of Christmas by passing on the second serving of shortbread this year.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God". (1 Cor. 10:31)

5. Focus on the reason for the season

Don't allow yourself to get caught up in the hustle of the season. Instead, plan times of meaningful rest. Reflect on the details of our Lord's miraculous birth and ask the Holy Spirit to renew the awe of God in your life. Carve out time where you sit in His presence. Start your day with meditating on His word. Spend time with Jesus this Christmas.

Our prayer is that you would end 2016 with incredible joy in your heart and you would experience the peace of Christ in a new and refreshing way.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Praying that this is your Merriest Christmas yet!

Her Voice Speaks