At this time of year, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of consumeritis. To get frustrated in mall parking lots. To grumble about the small (or nonexistent) company Christmas bonus. To wonder why there were less cards in the mailbox this year.
I think there are four little actions we can take to combat all this noise:
1. Spread Joy-Smile at a stranger. Surprise your checker at the grocery store with a happy “Merry Christmas”. Hug your friends. Be radical and swim against the current of tedium that can easily overcome the holidays.
2. Choose to Forgive-Most of us will end up cooped up with family over the next two weeks. Are it’s most likely there’s someone in the room who has hurt us. Choose to let it go. And if you’ve done the harm, say two little words that mean everything: “I’m sorry.” If not for them, do it for you. The weight of resentment and unforgiveness is so heavy. Free yourself from those chains.
3. Give Until It Hurts-That’s not “spend until you’re broke.” There are things we can give of through our time and resources that can be life-changing for another. Pay for a grocery bill. Stop by the neighbor’s house and fix the garage door. Take two hours and fill five boxes with good things you have lying around the house that could help a homeless person. When the giving hurts a bit, the reward is so much sweeter. Kinda like paying for college yourself.
4. Speak Life-There are people all around us carrying huge burdens, especially at this time of year. Spouses hiding the fact that they are separated, but “playing house” for their families. Parents who can’t afford Christmas for their kids. Friends grieving a lost loved one. Sometimes, it’s enough just for people to know that you See them. That you support them. And that you pray for them.
God, in His infinite wisdom, made these acts of kindness feel so good to us that it’s almost as if we benefit more than the recipient. This year, let’s BE CHRISTmas to a world in need of light and laughter.
What do you do to make Christmas special?
P.S. What do you think of my spruced up new blog? Shout out to the wonderful Jamie Rowe for working his magic.