If you’re anything like me, your angst is growing right along with your Christmas to-do list as the days grow fewer. I need to be ready for Christmas by December 21. Katie and Joe arrive that day and I want to be fully prepared so I can enjoy them and all that will follow.
As I’ve been praying about my holiday stress, God prompted me to take a clue from the Grinch.
We all know the story—the Grinch doesn’t like the noise and joy of the Who’s in Whoville at Christmas. He makes a plan to steal everything associated with Christmas, trusting the result will be no Christmas.
He carries out his plan to perfection. Then as the sun rises on Christmas morning from his perch atop a mountain the Grinch observes the Who’s coming out from their Who-houses to celebrate Christmas. Not one Who seemed to care that the Grinch had stolen their food, gifts, and decorations. They were joyful for Christmas and being with each other.
As I thought over the Grinch’s story, I thought, “What can I steal from my to-do list that won’t keep Christmas from coming?”
After trimming my list to the essentials of the essentials, I realized another Christmas staple I need to steal from my to-do list. I have a tendency to add to my list even as I am checking things off. My thought process goes something like—Wow! I’m ahead of schedule. Now I can—(pick one or all)
- Make more cookies.
- Send Christmas cards—something I cut from my to-do list, but may feel regret for not doing after others come in the mail.
- Make or buy more gifts—I have the time, right?!
Look at your growing to-do list. What does your family need for Christmas to come this year? Really only one thing—actually a person—Jesus. If we miss Him, we miss everything and nothing else matters—not gifts, not food, not decorations, cards, or parties.
Trim your list to the essentials of the essentials. In that space celebrate Jesus. Thank Him for coming, for dying for you, for bringing you into relationship with God His Father. Thank Him for His love and peace.
- Find a place to sit with Him.
- Turn off the Christmas music for a while and be with Him.
- Put away your devices, sit in the light of your Christmas tree, and talk to Him.
- Get up a few minutes early, before everyone else, write down a few ways your life is different because Jesus came into your life.
Yes, enjoy your family, friends, gifts, food, and decorations! But don’t miss Jesus. That is what Christmas is about.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.