10 Tips for a Meaningful Christmas

Christmas is less than a week away.  Based on the Facebook status updates racing through my feed, the theme of these last few days is RUSH.

Rush to buy.

Rush to wrap.

Rush to bake.

Rush to give.

Rush to clean.

Rush to pack.

Rush to go.

Rush.

It’s hard to find meaningful when you are rushing.  {Honestly, it’s hard to find the car keys in the midst of the rush!}  Somehow Advent – the season of anticipation – has become Accelerate – the season of too many irons in the fire.

Perhaps, Dr. Suess was onto something when he penned this simple truth:

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more! ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Is it possible that even in the midst of our well-intentioned activities and plans, we’ve lost a little bit of the wonder that brought dirty shepherds to see a Baby a stable or the earnest desire that led kings to travel cross-country for months to find a toddler on His mother’s lap?

Perhaps, as the Grinch found, Christmas is more …

More about the inside of our hearts than the outside of our homes.

More about the hunger of our souls than the food on our tables.

More about the fragrant offering of our worship than the beautifully wrapped gifts under our trees.

Maybe, just maybe, Christmas is about slowing … even stopping.  {A topic that keeps coming around, doesn’t it?}

10 Tips for a Meaningful Christmas ... in the midst of all the shuffle, let's not lose sight of the moments that matter.

So, then, here are 10 tips, suggestions, encouragements for a meaningful Christmas.

Do for others … not just others in your home, but strangers, the poor, the oppressed, the lost, the lonely.

Keep your eye on the goal … What do you want others to remember in June when they think about this Christmas?  Focus on the people that matter, not the things that don’t.

Make personal worship a priority.   It’s easy to let this slide in the midst of all the craziness.  But don’t!  Open the Bible, rest in the familiarity of the Christmas story, wander through the Psalms, seek wisdom from the Proverbs.

Pray … often!  One of the ways I keep stayed on prayer is to breathe in a prayer of thanks or praise or intercession every time I pass the Christmas trees in our home.

Sit in the quiet for a just a few moments each day.   This sounds so simple but it’s one of the most refreshing and calming habits we can develop.  Early in the morning or in the dark of night or during the still of naptime … just stop, be still, in the quiet.  Rest your body, your mind, and your spirit.

Sing!  Enjoy the gift of music and use it freely to set the tone in your home.

Laugh … at yourself, if necessary.  There will be mishaps.  Your choice is how you’ll respond.

Treasure the moments … big and small.  Capture the images – not just with your camera but, even more important, with your heart.

Slow the pace … Linger long tucking in the children, snuggle on the couch with your husband, curl up with hot cocoa and your favorite Christmas movie.  Choose slow as often as you can.

Smile … at the harried clerks at Walmart, at the last minute shoppers at the mall, at the overworked UPS man, at your children, and most important – at your spouse.   {oh and it really helps if you mean it when you smile!}

**********

The Gospel of Luke offesr us two moments of sheer beauty when women slowed and experienced a depth of intimacy with Christ that many of us long for …

A quiet moment of pondering the blessing of a Babe born to save and a wise moment of sitting at the Master’s feet.

Perhaps the truth is, we don’t need ten tips for a meaningful Christmas … we just need to ponder and sit a lot more than we need to talk and move.

What is your biggest obstacle to slowing down at Christmas?

linking with Oh Amanda for Top Ten Tuesday

23 Replies to “10 Tips for a Meaningful Christmas”

  1. Some awesome reminds about the season and how we should be.

    1. Thank you, Sara! I do hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

  2. YES. Love it!

    I was pregnant w/Lydia during Christmas and thought a lot about Mary. I’ve always remembered what Mary did after the shepherds left–she kept everything in her heart, treasured it and pondered it.

    When was the last time we pondered Christmas?

    Beautiful post!
    a

    1. Thanks, Amanda! You are such a blessing to me … wish we’d had time to sit and chat at Relevant. Next year? Merry Christmas!!

  3. I LOVE this post! Such good ideas that should be obvious, but we miss it so often. This year, I am purposing to be present, aware and enjoy the little moments of this week of Christmas.

    1. Thank you … we do miss the real deal so often, don’t we?

      Merry Christmas!

  4. Yes, yes, and YES! You’ve hit the nail on the head… I love this post!
    Ashley Pichea recently posted…Happy Birthday, Jesus!My Profile

    1. Thank you, Ashley!
      Merry Christmas!!

  5. simply beautiful… Love this!

    God gave me a sick kid home from school to help me slow down a little bit the last 2 days! 🙂
    Julie Anne recently posted…unintentional blogging breakMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Julie. Sometimes He does use whatever means possible to slow us down, huh? Praying you’ve enjoyed the time with the sick one and that everyone is well for Christmas day.

  6. Wonderful post, and you quoted the Grinch! Thanks for sharing…slowing down, being kind and sharing the love that is Christmas is more important than the rushing, fussing and grousing that is too much a part of the ‘rush to be perfect’! Nicely done my friend.

    1. Well, really, now, what’s a Christmas post without a Grinch quote!! 🙂

  7. I love your heart, TL! Thanks for this.

  8. I so need to read this list! I to find myself praying a lot this time of year.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted…Pausing Life for a Moment- Things to Do With Kids That Are Now Home!My Profile

    1. Yes, prayer … lots of prayer.

  9. This post was perfect! What a great reminder to stop rushing around and simply remember the reason we are able to celebrate this special time of year!

  10. TeriLynne–thank you for this reminder, but more for the sincerity of which it came. I don’t think I have anything I’m rushing necessarily, but I think I’m lacking to find Jesus joy this week. Allowing myself to be quieted & sit at the feet of Jesus is being thrown away. I want & need more of that. Sometimes it’s hard to sit in the stillness, because it also means bringing forth all that is burdening me. When I keep going, then I can sweep those wrestlings aside. That’s where I need to settle.

    1. Oh Kamille, this:

      “Sometimes it’s hard to sit in the stillness, because it also means bringing forth all that is burdening me. When I keep going, then I can sweep those wrestlings aside. That’s where I need to settle.”

      Yes. Me too.

  11. This was really really good. I loved make personal worship a priority and the thing about what will people remember in June. Also the SMILING! It can be hard to smile and be patient while we are hurrying…. smiling at custom service people… can show Christ more than anything! When everyone else is biting their head off, we can, calmly and graciously, show Christ with our smile and patient heart.

    LOVE!

    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

  12. […] I invite you to join me in slowing … maybe even letting a few things go?  One of my favorite Christmas “tips” is to keep your eyes on the goal.  Focus on the people that matter, not the things that […]

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