For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
The season of anticipation, preparation, and exhaustion is well under way! If your family is anything like mine, you’re going flat out. There are parties at work, shopping that still needs to be done, grandma phoning for suggestions for the grandchildren’s presents, and cooking and baking to boot.
That’s why it’s time to call a halt – to take a breather. Rest up. Stop what you’re doing. Slow down. Step away from the urgent and do what’s important. And what is important? I’m glad you asked! Making this Christmas meaningful, is important. Here are some suggestions as to how you might make this Christmas meaningful:
Find time to pray. Al Scalpone said, “The family that prays together stays together.” Don’t take this lightly. Families experience added stress over Christmas and the best way to deal with stress is to turn it over to God. Schedule a family date night. Invite the other members of the family to take a time out. Turn off the TV, turn off the phones, and turn off the computer. And connect . . . chat about things that matter, listen to each other, maybe read the Scriptures or meditate on Isaiah 9:6, and then turn to the Lord in prayer.
Make every effort to play. If you rush around and forget about the importance of playing and laughing together, you’ll be making a mistake. If we can take some licence with the maxim, maybe it’s also true to say that the family that plays together stays together. Plan to share some quality and quantity time with the family. Hang out with parents, siblings or cousins. Play some board games, pop some corn, roast some chestnuts, go skating, or whatever floats the family boat.
Do what it takes to pull together. If you’re going to have the Christmas you’ve always longed for then it may be helpful to call a family powwow and discuss your mutual hopes and aspirations for the rest of the Advent season. And, as you do, don’t forget to talk about ways in which you can celebrate Christ’s birth in creative and special ways.