The Christmas season is supposed to be a season of joy, but that’s not always the case. It can be hard enough without us doing things that rob us of our joy. The following can be applied anytime, but they seem especially appropriate as we shop, reconnect with others, celebrate, and get hit with about a million distractions.
5 Practical ways to maximize your joy this Christmas season (with supporting verses):
1. Don’t spend too much money — It’s good to be generous, but not if it puts you in longterm debt. And if you’ve got people in your life that give you gigantic unreasonable lists of things they want? Don’t make provision for that. Love them enough to tap the brakes on their materialism. (Proverbs 22:7, Matthew 6:19-20)
2. Don’t try and make it perfect — Hallmark movies aren’t real. Idealistic expectations set you up for disappointment and you’ll probably be cranky with your loved ones. Embrace the crazy. Be ready to laugh at yourself and whatever comes your way. (Proverbs 14:4)
3. Don’t drink too much — Holidays are stressful and sometimes downright sad. What starts as a celebratory toast or responsible drinks with friends can quickly turn into you trying to deal with problems through alcohol. Not good. And if you struggle in this area and have been on a sober streak? Don’t get lax now. I highly recommend Dr Pepper as an alternative. (Proverbs 20:1, Ephesians 5:18)
4. Don’t judge others — 2020 has been nuts and made a lot of us critical of each other. Some people are promask, some aren’t. Some like Trump, some don’t. Let’s remember that under every MAGA cap and behind every mask, is a person, created in the image of God, worthy of dignity and respect. And let’s look for and assume the best in others, especially when we disagree. (Matthew 7:1, Genesis 1:27, Romans 12:18)
5. Don’t miss the true meaning of Christmas — Jesus Christ took on flesh to save us. He lived the perfect life we couldn’t, took the penalty we deserved and overcame sin and death and rose victoriously. Our life is hidden in His and we have eternal life with God by grace through faith. That’s enough good news to give us joy year’ round. C’mon somebody! (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Galatians 4:4-7)