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3 Tips for Truly Enjoying Christmas

Inner Beauty
December 14, 2019
On Saturdays we talk about Inner beauty

Hi gals! I had a busy Saturday morning, so I’m a little late getting today’s post up. For that matter, I’m late getting it written! ‘Tis the season!

3 tips for truly enjoying Christmas

In fact, last night James and I attended a small group Christmas party and tonight we’re going to two more, back to back. This morning I was at the Christmas gathering of our church’s moms’ group and tomorrow evening our church choir performs its cantata. Whew! I bet your weekend could be very similar to mine, if not even more busy.

Christmas Cactus

Not only is my house getting a little messy with all of our darting in and out, but I feel my waistline expanding. This is not a good time to not be working out consistently, but earlier this week, when I visited the doctor because of some pains I’ve been experiencing, she asked me to stop weightlifting for a couple of weeks. So, while I’m trying to get a walk in here and there, I don’t have the usual stress relief of a good workout to fall back on.

Christmas Decorations on Front Door

Y’all! I was awake last night from two-thirty to around four o’clock contemplating all of these stress factors and more. I worried over the extra calories and the decrease in workouts, the laundry marinating in the washing machine, the lack of healthy foods in my refrigerator and the overflow of cheese balls, the post I needed to be writing and the editorial calendar for the new year, the gifts I still need to wrap and when we could schedule time to celebrate Christmas with our son. Of course, I didn’t manage to get on top of anything during my nighttime fretfulness. Rarely have I solved a problem stewing over it in the wee hours of the morning.

Teddy 1997

As I sipped coffee punch and nibbled on quiche this morning around a table filled with young moms, I realized we all, regardless of age or stage of life, struggle with finding a way to enjoy Christmas in the midst of the buyness and demands. This season can be so overwhelming. Or it can just fly by and we realize the date passed on our calendar but nothing swelled in our hearts. And isn’t that what we all long for? A little fullness of heart, the making of some sweet memories, a few meaningful conversations and maybe even a rare spiritual epiphany?

Christmas Table

So I’ve put a little thought into how I can somehow manage to truly enjoy this Christmas season. I want to really experience the reason for the season, don’t you?

I’d love for you to join me in this little brainstorming session here. I don’t claim to have all the answers. Maybe you’ve come up with a practice that helps you authentically engage with Christmas in a meaningful way. Please share your ideas in the comments! Truly. I’m offering three tips to help us truly enjoy the Christmas season. But I’d love to hear from you this weekend, too.

centerpiece of spheres

Tip #1 – Be consistent with your daily quiet times. I know that sounds elementary. But with houseguests and travel and changes in schedules, it’s easy to skip my morning ritual of Bible reading, meditation and prayer. But I think it’s more important than ever to doggedly stick to the plan! (Here’s my morning routine, if you missed this post. I’ll be doing my best to stick with it through Christmas, even though we’re traveling a little.)

Magnify Christ (1)

Tip #2 – Schedule a few times leading up to New Year’s Day for quiet, intentional meditation. One of the sweetest joys during Christmas, for me, is just sitting on my sofa or at the table, sipping something warm, listening to a crackling fire or instrumental music and thinking. Just thinking. I heard someone the other day call this “super thinking.” Yes, you could certainly use this time to read Scripture or meditate on some favorite verses. But you could also:

  • remember special Christmas memories
  • practice gratitude and reflect on what you’re thankful for
  • think about Mary and how she must have felt that first Christmas
  • reflect on the gathering you attended the night before, the laughter and the sweet conversations
  • highlights from this year in your family
  • other ideas???

But the most important thing about this tip is that we actually schedule it. Put it on the calendar, carve out the time and make it happen.

Tree Cookie

Tip #3 – With someone or a group schedule and have one conversation that focuses completely on the meaning of Christmas. Depending on your circumstances and how you decide to carry it out, this tip could take a little bravery on your part. But I encourage you to intentionally enter into conversation with at least one other person – your spouse, a friend, your sister, etc. – or a group – your Bible study small group, your family, a group of girlfriends, etc. – that completely focuses on Christmas. You could approach the conversation from various angles. Pick one or more:

  • discuss the narrative of the birth of Christ found in Luke 1-2
  • talk about Mary and her experience as the mother of Jesus
  • linger over memories of Christmases past
  • share with one another how God has worked in your life this year
  • talk about the names of Jesus prophesied in Isaiah 9:6
  • other ideas???

Sure, someone else could schedule this and you could simply participate. If it works for you, your weekly Bible study meeting or Sunday school time could count. But just make sure you participate fully.

Christmas Arrangement

Let’s make sure that we fully engage in the true meaning of Christmas this year, ladies. Amidst the parties and concerts and lights and baking sessions, let’s pause and reflect and remember and engage. I’d love to hear how you do that. Please share!

Have a lovely weekend, dear gal!

3 tips for truly enjoying Christmas
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xoxo, Kay
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19 thoughts on “3 Tips for Truly Enjoying Christmas

  1. I love these tips and look forward to suggestions from others. I like the idea of putting time on the calendar to meditate on what Christmas is really about. While I know and understand the reason we celebrate, it’s good to spend time reading the account in Luke and thinking about each part of the incredible story. I do my best thinking in a park that I drive to, so I’m going to schedule this in. If I’m at home I’ll notice things that need to be done and become distracted. I’m going to pack up some hot chocolate and head out to do this. Going now to put it on the calendar.

    1. That’s a wonderful idea, Karen. Plus it’s a way to get out and about. I’m with you; I get distracted at home, too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Great thoughts and ideas, Kay! I’d like to add keeping a focus on our physical health – especially nutrition. Sugar & simple carbs and indulgent meals seem to abound this time of year, and we all know how we feel when our eating is off track. It’s hard for me to focus on what’s truly important when I’ve indulged and am feeling off physically and sometimes spiritually as a result.

    1. Good points, Kay. I do think it’s so important to be consistent with healthy eating and exercise at this time…as much as possible. It really does affect how we feel and think. That’s probably why I lost sleep last night!

      1. Thank you for the excellent tips! I like the idea of putting special meditation and devotional time on the calendar. (The most important appointment of the day) I also think using a photo album and adding scripture verses from daily devotions is a wonderful way to hide them in the heart.

  3. Remember to be grateful! Enjoy yourself and give yourself a break on the stress factors. Keep doing the most important parts of you daily routines. Life will soon enough get back to “normal” and those extra pounds will come off. Happy holidays

    1. Hi Joy, I agree. Gratitude is so important. And it motivates so many other important attitudes like joy and contentment. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for this blog. I stumbled across it only about a week or so ago. I follow other fashion blogs, but yours is the first i’ve seen that comes from a Christian perspective. I appreciate your thoughts on how our appearance can positively influence others and bring grace into their lives. I shall reflect on that this Christmas season, and praise God for transforming my life first inside and now out.

  5. Beginning on December 1, I read a chapter daily of the book of Luke. This is the story of Jesus. The book of Luke has 24 chapters and I finish up on Christmas eve, focused on Christ.

  6. Great suggestions Kay! When traveling or having guests in our home, it is hard to have my morning devotional time, but because it is a very important part of my day, I make it happen. I’ve learned to take that time while I am getting dressed, in the bathroom, before anyone knows that I am up and moving. It’s not the ideal setting, but it still helps me. After our neighbor girls, ages 13 & 9, had to deal with the accidental death of their 21 yr old half brother, I felt a real nudge to buy each of them a Bible. After their mom said that she doesn’t believe they have one, I knew that would be their primary Christmas gift from us. I pray that it will help lay the foundation for them to want to know Christ on a personal level. Since one week ago Thursday, Larry and I have been forced to slow down. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and I came down with an awful upper respiratory infection, so we’ve been quarantined at home and doing our best to take care of each other. I have not wrapped one gift, which is stressing me out a bit, especially since a few need to be mailed early next week. I’m praying that my strength will be better tomorrow, so that I can tackle that task. Push comes to shove, I will just use gift bags. At least neither one of us are in the hospital!

  7. Instead of viewing tasks as “demands” I view them as blessings. I’m blessed that I have wonderful family and friends that I want to buy presents for. I made a list several days ago of what I wanted to accomplish this each day this weekend knowing that it would be impossible to get everything done in one day (so far, so good!). That really helped me stay focus. In addition to the Christmas season, I am retiring this coming week. Instead of feeling stressed, I’m blessed that I am able to retire early and have a very supportive husband. I’m excited to see where God will lead me next.
    As I wrapped gifts today I took a moment to think about the recipient. And I know if something happened that derailed my plans, none of the people I care about would mind if their presents came a little later or weren’t perfectly wrapped. I really think it’s about how you view this wonderful season and try to embrace the true meaning. It really is about love, kindness, and giving of your heart.
    (And Kay, I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night to write down what is stressing me – it helps to “get if off your mind”!)

  8. I have a book called Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas that I use during my “quiet time.”

  9. Three great suggestions Kay. I do these as well. I take time to meditate but I do not put it on a calendar. When I get stressed, I start praying immediately for anyone that is in a hospital or home bound, ones that are having a tough time financially, doctors who literally have their patients lives in their hands, anyone in the medical field, anyone in the EMT, policemen or firefighters, etc. When I do that it helps put things in perspective for me. I cannot always “stop” to pray, especially at work but I can pray quick prayers in my mind. I am also a list person and make a to do list for the week. I try to put the highest priority at the top to include my alone time with God. My alone time with God is not just a “to do”….it is a “necessity” and helps me get through my day and tackle the to dos. It is a stress relief when you can “mark things off your list”. I thoroughly enjoy your blog Kay. ~Lisa~

  10. These are all excellent tips and ideas. I think it’s pretty common for us to get anxious in the days leading up to Christmas, or any other big event for that matter. I have a suggestion for those times when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep because your thoughts keep you awake. If you’re still awake for 15 minutes or so, get up, go write down all the things you’re concerned about. Then pray over them, giving the concerns over to your Heavenly Father. After you do that, maybe read a devotion, hymn, or poem to think about. Then go back to bed, knowing those things that kept you up are written down, and you can tackle them in the morning. And stay off your phone, tablet, and computer at night! This seems to work for me when I wake up in the wee hours.

  11. Thanks! It is wonderful how the Lord works! I have been waking up in the night. You have helped me to develop a plan to help me not to fret but to take my concerns to the Lord and leave them there.