The tree is trimmed, most of the presents are purchased, and the kids… well, there is not holding back their excitement. The school plays are past and the Christmas parties are done. You’ve decked out the house and you’ve driven neighborhood streets with your family in search of blingy holiday lights. Now your mind has turned to the logistics of the big celebration—whose homes you’ll need to visit and possibly even what gifts you’ll have to return after Christmas Day. (Another pair of slippers from Aunt Marge maybe?) But I urge you, before you let your mind race ahead, take time to pause.
Pause and remember that Jesus doesn’t get caught up in the hype.
Pause and pray for those who are facing this Christmas without someone they love this year.
Pause and remember the moments which your kids will remember most—the face-to-face ones snuggled on the couch.
Pause and be thankful, even if you didn’t have the funds to buy what you really wanted to.
Pause and know the He is God.
We often give marketing and commercialism a bad rap for taking Christ out of Christmas, but we can do our part in combatting that by pausing and putting Him back it. We are the ones who choose our schedule, our priorities, and our focus. We are the ones who get to pick whether the Prince of Peace is invited to our Christmas morning celebration … or not.
In addition to pausing, remembering, and praying, there’s one more thing we can do: Practice the Presence of Jesus this Christmas.
Here are three ways to do that:
1. Really pay attention to the words of all those Christmas hymns playing. Ponder the words with your mind and let them take root in your heart.
2. Read the Christmas Story in Luke 2 with your kids. Make this be the focus of your Christmas morning, even more than the presents.
3. Picture Jesus during your days. Realize that all your love, service, and care for others is worship to Him. Thank Him for His provision as you wash dishes. Imagine His pleasure as you enjoy your child’s delight. Imagine Him wiping your tears if you’re having an especially hard year.
When we pause, we let Jesus know that we remember the reason for our celebration. The more we do that, the more peace will reign in our hearts.
Walking In Him,