For many, Christmas is the most stress-filled time of the year. We try to find the perfect gifts for our loved ones and friends, work hard to decorate our homes, and attend and host Christmas parties. It’s easy to lose the sweet spirit of Christmas, which celebrates the life of a baby whom was born in a humble manager and of a Man who had no earthly possessions and lived with power, simplicity, and pure love.
Consider the following ideas to make your Christmas more peaceful this year.
1. Focus on the simple beauties of the season.
Take time to savor the beauties of nature, the glorious Christmas music, and the feelings of compassion that accompany the season. Our favorite family tradition is going to a sing-along of “The Messiah” the day after Thanksgiving. The melodies and words of the music remind us of the true meaning of Christmas: celebrating the birth of a Child who we remember as “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
2. Simplify your expectations.
After my father was permanently disabled after a car accident, he was no longer able to work full-time. I discovered as a child, that Christmas can be peaceful and happy even when gift-giving is greatly reduced. Although I love to give presents to those I love, I do not need to receive gifts to make me happy at Christmas. Perhaps my childhood taught me that.
What can you simplify this year to make your Christmas more peaceful? Can you decorate or bake less? Can you spend less money and spend more time enjoying your family and friends? Can you meditate daily on the Miracle, who offers peace and goodwill to all who follow Him?
3. Create peace-filled traditions.
Last year on Christmas Eve, our entire family wrote a love note to each family member, and then we placed the notes in a simple box. It is my favorite Christmas gift ever! Some families carol at nursing homes. Others volunteer at food bank or buy gifts for needy families. Any tradition that enhances our love for others makes Christmas memorable and meaningful.
4. Celebrate the reason for the season.
Jesus, who lived a pure and sinless life, offers peace to those who love Him more than they love the world. As we remember that He loves us infinitely and that we are His children, we can find peace during the holiday season—and throughout the year.
Handel reminds us, “[Christ] shall feed his flock like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Come unto [Him], all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and [He shall] give you rest. Take [his] yoke upon you, and learn of [Him]; for [he is] meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For his yoke is easy and his burden is light.”
May you find peace and comfort during the coming weeks.
© Carol Brown