The Reason For The Season

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Christmas season has been described as “the most wonderful time of the year”; but for many people, this season can bring up a lot of varying difficult emotions. Whether you are newly widowed or divorced, have lost a loved one, are undergoing financial hardship, or are simply struggling with feeling lonely and stressed, the Christmas season may feel anything but “merry and bright”.

The unspoken pressure of social commitments, family gatherings, gift giving, and holiday traditions can be overwhelming and cause us to lose focus on the real reason for the season.

Here are three suggestions on how to overcome the “holiday blues” and help you reconnect with the true joy of the Christmas season:

1. Put Christ back into Christmas: In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, we can often times forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. Before the lights, trees, and decorations, there was the humbleness of the manger. When we begin to feel so overwhelmed with everything we have to do, refocus on what we are actually celebrating this season: the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. If the thing you are stressing over doesn’t bring attention back to Christ, let it go! Author Vance Havner reminds us, “Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts, the gift of God to man through His son, and the gift of man to God when we present our bodies as a living sacrifice”. If you find yourself stressing over finding that “perfect” gift for someone, remember that the magic of Christmas is not found in the presents under the tree, but in celebration of the most miraculous gift from God- his son Jesus.

2. Be in the moment: As the saying goes, depression is living in the past, anxiety is living in the future, but peace comes from staying in the present. When you find yourself overwhelmed with sadness or stress, check-in on your thoughts and see where they are. If they have wandered off to the past or into the future, bring them back mindfully and intentionally to the moment you are in. Take a look around at your surroundings, and orient yourself using your 5 senses. What do you see? Smell? Hear? Taste? Feel? Be intentional of being in the moment and what you are doing. Mindful participation in events and traditions will increase the feeling of enjoyment that can transition into connecting you to joy.

3. Lean in with an attitude of gratitude: As Roy L. Smith once said, “He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” Instead of getting wrapped up in all the things you couldn’t do or didn’t get, focus on what you have. Acknowledge what you’ve been able to accomplish or overcome in the past year. Although you may not find yourself in the circumstance you imagined or wished you’d be in this Christmas season, remember God’s not done writing your story just yet! Look at this season and this new year as a fresh start: an opportunity to regroup, reprioritize, and start anew in your faith walk with Christ. Spend a little time creating a list of all you are grateful for this year and reflect on all you have accomplished, both big and small. Putting pen to paper really holds us accountable to our thoughts and can help you shift from feeling “Grinchy” to grateful. 

Wishing you a joyful and Christ-filled Christmas!

Author: Viviana A.


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