[This is part of a series of posts we are doing as personal blog posts to feed your souls. Check out the rest of them here.]
This one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love everything about this time of year. The hustle and bustle. The decorations and the pageantry. The music and the sacredness of the season. I love it.
But I know that not everyone is like me.
The reality is that the holidays sometimes cause more pain and more heartache than they do times of Joy. If this is you know that even in the midst of sorrow you can still find something to be joyful about.
Here are a few thoughts on keeping your Christmas Season filled with Joy.
Start a tradition with friends or family. This could be a special night out, a trip to a Christmas tree farm, night set aside to bake cookies, shopping, volunteer at a local charity, going to Christmas Eve worship, etc. Whatever it is start something that you can do with those you love and have it be something to look forward to for years to come.
Avoid the comparison trap and put down your devices. This is a tough one, especially since most of you reading this are doing so via an electronic device. It is easy to get caught in the comparison trap during the holidays. We see a friends house all decorated to perfection, looking like the picture was taken right out of a magazine. Instead of enjoying the beauty we grumble, complain and lament that we don’t even have decorations down from the attic yet.
Or while scrolling we see what others are giving or receiving for Christmas. Instead of being excited for them we become jealous, and might even question how they could afford such a gift in the first place.
For all the good that Social media does, it can – when we allow it to – be the catalyst to us losing our joy. If this is the case for you, avoid the comparison trap by putting down your devices and spending time with those you love.
Learn to accept that certain things are out of your control. Whether we like to admit it or not, there will be things that happen that we cannot control. That person will take your parking spot, someone will make a negative comment on social media, the person ahead of you will get the last Hot Item of the Christmas season. Instead of dwelling on those things and constantly being frustrated, realize that they are outside our control. They are beyond what we are given to handle and the more frustrated we get, the more unhappy we become. Let them go and control what you can – your attitude and actions.
Smile. Studies have shown the more we smile the happier we are – it sounds logical at least. So randomly in the middle of your day, just smile, even if you are having a terrible day, just smile. Smile at other people when you are walking down the street, shopping at Target, or waiting in line at the grocery store.
Give. Tis the season to give! Give to something or someone else – whether that is your time, your money, your talents, your words of wisdom – whatever it is, just give back. Giving helps us see life is not about us – but about how we can be used by God to make an impact in the larger scope of things. There are so many people in the world who are in a greater need than us. Give them something to be joyous about this Christmas.
Jesus did not come for us to go through this season filled with sadness and despair. He came to fill our lives with joy and hope. May you find this Christmas season filled with joy and the hope of Jesus.