For so many of us Christmas Eve and Christmas day might be some of the most enjoyable days of the year. I know there is nothing quite like watching my kiddos open presents or seeing the family worship together on Christmas Eve. I also know that between working in the church and having a rather large family, today will be full of the holiday shuffle; we will move from one place to another with kids and gifts and food and all the other stuff in tow.
By the end of the day we will have had three Christmas parties, been to church three times, and eaten at least four meals. I know that if I'm not careful I can take for granted all of those blessings and let myself get stressed out.
With that in mind here are the top 5 five things that I try to practice to help keep me in the Christmas spirit:
1. Map out the day with my spouse. Being able to know what to expect during the day is crucial for me to get my head in the game. We always do a good job of talking through the plans so there are no surprises.
2. Identify our non-negotiables. There are some parts of the day that HAVE to happen a certain way or traditions that need to take place. When we talk about them ahead of time everyone is better prepared. Since I serve at the church on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, it is also important for me to carve out prep time starting in the morning. All of this needs to go into consideration when talking about what you HAVE to have.
3. Say please and thank you. I've found that some stress can be mitigated when we ask each other to do things rather than just saying "do this." Never underestimate the power of politeness.
4. Find a minute to relax in solitude. I believe that just taking a minute or two in solitude helps reset the mind. I always try to find a back porch, sitting room, or just a corner chair to take a minute and reset the brain.
5. Worship. Going to church amidst all the business is crucial, and I would challenge you not just to go, but to participate. Turn your cell phone off and dial into the act of worship.
My sincerest hope is that you have a joyous and blessed Christmas. If you are looking for a place to worship this Christmas Eve or Christmas day, please join us at Ginghamsburg. We have worship celebrations starting at 1pm and going on throughout the day. I will be preaching at the Point at 5pm and also preaching on Christmas day at 8:30am for a family worship experience at the Tipp City campus. I would love it if you joined me!