With the triptophan comas wearing off signaling that Thanksgiving is winding down, the Christmas season is upon us. I’ve been asked by quite a few people in the past week if I am going to be up early in the morning to shop the Black Friday sales. Can I just say “YUCK!”? To those of you who love to get up with the mobs of people and run around in the cold, more power to you. I however, will remain snug in my bed, wake up with a purring kitty, and greet the start of the Christmas season with a relaxing morning to be followed by Christmas tree decorating and spending time with my family. This will probably be accompanied with Christmas music, hot chocolate, and a Christmas show or two on TV. (A Charlie Brown Christmas, anyone?)
I suppose we all find our ways to either jump headfirst or slowly ease our way into the Christmas season. Regardless of what speed we enter in, my prayer is that you enter this season with joy. To make sure that my heart is in the right place and I enter this season with joy, I am putting a plan into place – not to be legalistic about Christmas, but because I want to be intentional. I find if I go into the season with the mindset of “I’m sure it’ll happen, I’ll find joy”, I will quickly lose sight of the things that are important and find myself swept up in the frenzied pace of the holiday. Not that I’m a Scrooge or anything, but it is so easy to get distracted by shopping, planning, baking, and all things shiny and glittery. (Ooo! Something sparkly!)
Here is my plan to stay joyful this Christmas season:
- Ask Jesus each morning to open my eyes to the joy already around me.
- Each day ask Jesus what brings Him joy and listen to His answer.
- Spend time each day reading in the Gospels to get to know Jesus better.
I ask that you keep me accountable in this; ask me if I’m staying on track. This is by no means as “magic formula” trick for insta-joy (just add water and tinsel!) – my desire this year is to stay focused on Jesus, and through it experience renewed joy in the miracle of His birth, life, and sacrifice for us. And because of it, I hope to exude the joy of Jesus to everyone I come in contact with through the next month and beyond.
So Christmas season I say, “Welcome! I’m ready!” And I cannot wait to see what Jesus shows me about being joyful!