On the Ninth day of Christmas CCS Gave To Me…
December 20, 2021
Nine Ways to Slow Down and Make Christmas More Meaningful
For most, the days leading up to Christmas seem like a blur of frenzied shopping, school programs, parties, meals, and various church events. By the time Christmas arrives you’re exhausted and thankful it’s over. But it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. We’ve got nine practical ideas on how to slow down and make Christmas more meaningful.
- Plan the activities you really want to do – Choose one or two activities that each family member especially enjoys and put them on your calendar. Involve each member of the family and make sure each has a voice in scheduling their favorite activity. One may love attending a sing-along, another might enjoy baking cookies, and another watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
- Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas – Christmas morning is filled with excitement…kids waking up early and parents stumbling out of bed after staying up wrapping gifts. Pretty quickly the adrenaline wears off and suddenly it’s over. One way to slow down and savor the holiday is to spread out Christmas gift-giving. Just have each family member open one gift each day, starting on Christmas. Now, this might be extremely hard for young children to do, but it would allow you to treasure each gift you receive. It’s also a great chance to talk about the meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas and the celebration of Epiphany on January 6th.
- Stay within an allotted budget for gifts – Money is often a huge source of holiday stress, especially when there doesn’t seem to be enough to go around. Figure out just how much you can afford to spend throughout the holiday season. When the funds run out, understand that is all you have to offer, at least with material gifts. Keep the budgeted number in your wallet so you can continually be reminded to watch your spending. It may provide a greater opportunity to give even better presents…being truly “present” with your family and friends.
- Bake a birthday cake for Jesus – Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, so why not celebrate with a birthday cake! Dating back to the 1800s’ this tradition is becoming increasingly popular. You can even find recipes online that detail exactly what the colors represent. Even singing “Happy Birthday” gives life to the Baby in the manger.
- Practice prayerful meditation – Pray for God’s peace during your holiday. Take time to “just be”. Reflect and meditate on the true meaning of the season and you can redirect the chaos around you.
- Sing Christmas carols – Music affects the brain in many positive ways. It can make you smarter, happier, and more productive. So as you go about your daily tasks of laundry and dishes or as you wrap gifts and trim the tree, turn up your speaker and savor the sounds of the season. Want to improve your mood? Sing Christmas songs along with the radio, solo, or in a group of friends.
- Make a gratitude list – Focusing on all the blessings we enjoy helps alleviate expectations about how the Christmas season “should” go. Taking time each morning to make a list of what we’re grateful for helps us slow down and contemplate how much we have and how little we truly need. It also gives us time to meditate on the gift of God’s Son and the marvelous way His coming to earth changed our lives forever.
- Reach out to others – Focus on the needs of others less fortunate, and find ways you and your family can help support them. Find someone who needs to be reached out to–a single mom, an elderly neighbor. Look for those in your immediate circle or neighborhood where you can make an impact. They will be thankful that you thought of them, and it will bless you and your family.
- Let go of expectations of perfection – Let the season be what it is without expectations for perfection. To create the kind of holiday season you envision for your family, some things simply will have to go. That may mean you can’t make every gift a homemade one, decorate your house like the magazine covers, or serve a Pinterest-worthy holiday meal. We are often disappointed when things don’t go “as planned” during the holidays, so plan loosely. Let go and enjoy.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.
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