Not Cookies, Not Chaos, But Christ

Every winter, most of us focus on buying presents, budgeting for buying presents, cleaning our homes for company, stressing about having company, and scheduling school-related or church-related social activities – maybe even organizing or helping out with charity events. The Holidays can be overwhelming, and to help ourselves get through, it’s too easy to grab the first fast food we find, and lose sight of our real priorities.

But let’s refocus for a moment to remember our real priorities during the Holidays.

Thanksgiving isn’t about the turkey. It’s not about the pie. It’s not about a pre-and-post-guest cleaning frenzy. It’s about Gratitude. Taking time to appreciate what you have shouldn’t be a source of stress; and if it is, you might be doing it wrong! This year, reevaluate what it means to you to be Thankful, and you might find that you can trim more than a Turkey this year. You can trim out a lot of excess commitments too.

Christmas isn’t about the presents. It’s not about the decorating. It’s not about the social gatherings, cookie exchanges, or hauling out the good China for dinner. Christmas is about the profound feeling of love and gratitude every Christian feels when he or she thinks of the sacrifice made for all of mankind. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t celebrate this joyous occasion – we should! But part of God’s will for us is to live our best lives and become our best selves. Do we serve that purpose by rushing from store to store, grabbing McDonald’s in between? Or do we serve that purpose by prioritizing our health goals and our family goals over the goals set for us by product marketers?

I’m inspired by people like the creators of Advent.Amor.Org  who, instead of focusing on the commercial side of Christmas, invite people to do Christmas differently with 24 “Days of Disrupt.” If we begin to look critically at our Holidays, I think we can get much more out of them than turkey-leftover sandwiches and presents (as wonderful as both of those are).