5 Ways to Embrace More Hope and Less Hustle This Christmas
I know the feeling well friends. The ceremonial holiday entrance has begun.
Slowly the lights are going up everywhere, but my heart isn’t exactly there yet.
I love all things Christmas, but not so much the hustle and stress to make it just right.
It always feels like the hype falls upon the earth / Target much too soon causing us to over-think things like:
Where in the world will we put the tree this year?
Should it be fake from Costco or shall we take to the National Parks with a permit and saw one down?
What are we going to get for our kids? How will we afford that stuff?
I don’t like my decorations any longer, so I should start all over?
I want my husband to craft me a mantle like Chip did for Jo. Yes?
How full should I pack my December calendar?
What memories do I want my family to remember?
As our five kids have grown up, it has become easier to wrangle in our focus. There is something in me that resists the urge to live out the most incredible celebration, and absolute miracle of the arrival of the King of Kings among the madness.
I long to be centered around the story of God coming down to rescue us and infuse that celebration with great fun.
“Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger." Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
Glory to god in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” Luke 2:11-14
In my life, the more the hustle and distraction means less awe and wonder. What about you?
In my attempt to offer some sanity and fresh perspective to the parents of the world on what was meant to be a celebration of great joy and thrilling hope…I give to you these 5 ways we can embrace the miracle of Jesus Christ with more hope!
1. Embrace Generosity.
What a blessing that we might have the resources to be so generous and by all means give! Let’s remember that our kids are not better off with more stuff. Sometimes too much lessens the joy of a few meaningful and special gifts. Appreciation can get lost in a room full of wrapping paper!
*Try letting your kids circle 3 things on their list that they could shop for and give away.
2. Embrace Service.
Step out of your yard, neighborhood, or city to extend the love of Christ to someone else!
The stuff they open under the tree won’t compare to the memories you make when you see the needs of others.
The light that shined in the sky on that silent night, marking the place of the manger is the light we get to bring into the lives of those around us.
Teaching our kids to give their hope away will be a gift they can take with them into adulthood - and how our world needs more extravagant love.
*Find your local soup kitchen, women’s shelter, or assisted living home and love the mess out of the people you get to serve.
3. Embrace Family Memories.
Maybe you grew up with nothing, or close to it. The temptation to overdue it is real because you want your own family to have the things that you didn't. Passing on the realities of our own childhood and allowing our kids to see how those moments shaped who we are, can be a valuable gift.
*Light a candle, gather some photos and let them in on the stories of Christmas when you were a kid.
*Plan an experience together instead of opening one gift. The memories made will far outlive the momentary unwrapping of a present.
4. Embrace Meaningful Gifts.
We don't mean to do it, but it’s hard not to. We try to give them the latest and greatest,
so they will be up to date right? The truth is, that the second we buy them the latest, we’ll already be behind the next day.
Give gifts that are best for you family, and for the hearts you are parenting.
* You know your kids better than anyone else! Make gifts more meaningful and thoughtful and a little less competitive.
5. Embrace Slow Moments.
We all have a zillion events this month and even the good stuff can turn ugly without some boundaries right? Schedule nights to completely chill at home or create space just to be together during the week. Go ahead and feel the freedom to say “no thanks”. If your season is busy and burn out comes quickly, remember that you are the gate-keeper of your time. You get to set the pace!
*Set your calendar and determine to over-plan even if it sounds fun. Giving away every single day of December will leave you starving for down time with those closest to you!
Now go celebrate, memory make, and find those special treasures that your kids will erupt over!
Friends, let’s show great love while remembering the humble, yet powerful arrival of Jesus. Lets be the ones who anticipate Christmas with less hustle and more hope.