All of us have much to be thankful for… of course. However, being told we should be thankful is about as helpful as someone telling us we should be happy. The reality is that we sometimes need some help finding the gratitude… the “happy.”
The last two holiday seasons, I’ve found myself feeling pressure to overcome all the imperfections in life to somehow make it magical (or at least encouraging) for my family. Anyone else in the same boat?
Maybe bringing your family together creates stress? Maybe not being with your family is hard? Maybe you have that one family member who causes rifts in the atmosphere… or is it that having so many children under foot, you develop a twitch? Perhaps there’s been a loss of someone close that puts a dark cloud on thankfulness. And then there’s the financial stress…
What if we choose to accept that Christmas won’t be perfect? What if we take a deep breath and realize we can’t take all the cares of the year and either suspend them or solve them for 72 hours? When I boil it all down to the essentials, there are five things to remember when it comes to having a great Imperfect Christmas…
- No matter how hard your “hard” is, when you gather with anyone, you have someone… someone you can choose to love right where they are.
- We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Enjoy today. Make the most of it. Take a walk. Have a conversation. Play a game. Put your feet up.
- Ask for help. This can be done in the moment but let me also encourage you to anticipate the Christmas gatherings. Sometimes, the honesty of saying to a house guest before they arrive, “I want to make this special for you and am feeling some pressure. How can I help you feel loved when you’re with us?” can go a long way.
- With college kids coming home to an unfamiliar place, I find myself trying to entertain them. Maybe you’re entertaining your grandchildren or distant relatives. Regardless of who it might be, maybe you could ask them, “Would you brainstorm some things that you would enjoy doing when you visit?”
- You. Are. Here. No matter how treacherous or triumphant 2019 has been, God has seen you through. The fact that you’re alive to celebrate means you have a God-given purpose to carry out and you haven’t finished the works God has prepared for you yet. Be thankful for the future.
As I come to my last blog for 2019, I can only say that this year has been a doozie. I smile as I wonder what my life will look like as 2020 rings in and I resume blogging.
To all of my readers, I pray that the God who has sustained and blessed me will be very near to you as you celebrate the birth of His Son.