Having lived overseas for twenty years, my return to American culture brought more than a few shocks to my system. The “Christmas season” was one of the worst, and it began in October, when things started appearing in stores to get a jump on what really should be known as “the shopping season.”
I still remember learning about “Black Friday” and wondering what could possibly be so important to get you out of bed at midnight to line up at a store. I still really don’t get that.
Yet, with the years, I too, found myself getting with the groove and making sure I took in everything that was offered during the holidays.
I never had this problem in the Middle East. I lived in some countries that didn’t even have Christmas, if you can believe that. It didn’t mean we didn’t celebrate Christ’s birth, but it sure did make you look different at the holiday. When December 25th is just like every other day, it makes you stop and take stock of what’s important.
Back, however, to the good ol’ Christmas-celebrating-USA. The constant rush of Christmas finally became too much for my system, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Something had to change. I felt I was losing all focus on the true reason for the season.
That’s when I stopped giving into the lie of the world and sought to focus only on the essential. What did it look like for me?
- Buying fewer gifts.
- Being more thoughtful about what I did buy and give.
- Get done the things I had to do early on.
- Allow December to be a month of focus on Christ, the Scriptures and church services that drew me closer to him in worship.
- Listen to more Christian Christmas music than secular.
- Think of those who are having a hard time during the holidays.
- And listen to what God wanted to say to me during the season.
Are you feeling in a fog this Christmas? Overwhelmed with parties and gift-shopping? Feeling stressed?
Stop and let God speak to you about what needs to change in your life to shift the focus to Christ in true celebration and worship. There’s still time to turn off the noise and spend a silent night with Him.
Grace and Peace