I LOVE Christmas! I love seeing family & friends, eating all of the delicious food, seeing the beautiful decorations, and the giving spirit that it brings out in so many. What I don’t like about this season though, is how quickly my heart can shift from all of that warm and fuzzy goodness to wanting more, more, more for me and my family. I mean it can get ugly really quick in this heart of mine if I don’t keep it in check. Can you relate?
For instance, I can be having the best day ever and then there’s that commercial where the wife is surprised by her husband with a brand-new Lexus in her driveway with a giant red bow on it… and all of a sudden my minivan starts to lose its luster…and if I’m not VERY careful, whatever my husband gets me for Christmas is now being held to the impossible Lexus-standard-of-giving meter. Can you relate? Or is it just me?
I don’t think it’s just me.
The enemy sneaks in perhaps via an Amazon daily deal or an adorable ruffly number on Zulilly and tries to steal our joy. Is there anything wrong with this lovely woman receiving a Lexus? No. Is there anything wrong with the Amazon Daily Deal alerts? No. Is there anything evil with adorably ruffled children’s clothing? No!!! But there is something wrong when my heart starts to be negatively affected by the Lexus-Amazon-Zulilly-“Fill in with your favorite store here” hype.
I want you to protect your heart this Christmas Season and be on guard when the enemy tries to plant greed, ungratefulness, or general discontent in your heart. Because he is crouching at the doors at the mall and lingering in your browser looking for someone to devour. Don’t fall prey.
Here are 5 ways to prepare your heart for Black Friday & Cyber Monday:
#1. Be thankful and say so: Start each day naming the people and things you are grateful for to God in prayer. Check in with Jesus before checking the online deals and trust Him to provide for ALL of your needs. Encourage your spouse and your children to do the same.
#2. Serve someone in need: Focusing on others is a great way to get your own self off of your mind. Find a cause you are passionate about and make a plan to serve at some point over the next few weeks.
#3. Take inventory of what you have: It’s a great rule of thumb to have a “1-in-1-out” policy before the gifts start coming. If your house looks anything like mine, it may need to be “1-in-2-out” when it comes to toys and books. You will be able to make some cash or bless a great charity as you declutter your home too!
#4. Make your list and stick to it: Make your list of who you buy gifts for, your budget for each gift, and an idea of what they may like BEFORE you go shopping. Deciding under the bright lights while you are intoxicated by Christmas potpourie is not the best time to be making decisions.
#5. Invite Jesus to His birthday party: Place Him as the guest of honor in your home and your heart this Christmas Season and always. He is worthy. A few ideas: Bake him a birthday cake with your kids, read about Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:1-20 as part of your family’s celebration, & decide together what gifts you will give Jesus by being generous with the resources He’s given you.
If you are intentional in preparing your heart for Black Friday & Cyber Monday, you will be in better position to truly celebrate Jesus and draw others closer to Him. Be a joyful follower of Jesus who is not grouchy, stressed out, or envious of the latest model of this or the trendier version of that and you will draw others to Him. Isn’t that the best gift we could possibly give ourselves and others this Christmas?
Make this Christmas more about:
- giving thanks to Him for all He has done,
- appreciating what we already have,
- giving away what we don’t need,
- living within our budget
- spreading joy
Do these things and Christmas will be a gift we give ourselves and others that keeps on giving all year long.
Share your favorite way to stay centered during the Christmas Season. We’d love to hear from you!