Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Central!

The Christmas season becomes a busy time of the year. Especially at The Salvation Army, where we take pride in all of the hustle and bustle of kettles, fundraisers, public relations, church services, food boxes, toys for children, parties and so much more! It is easy to quickly become over extended in our energy, time and money. We have so many expectations of what Christmas should be. It is good to give and minister to others. It is good to shop till you drop in order to fill everyone else's Christmas dreams. It is good to deck the halls with bows of holly (or garland, or lights, etc.). Theses are all good things that add to the celebration of our Savior's birth. But in many ways these are also things that start creeping up on us, wearing us down and stealing our jolly mood. And the ones who most often pay for this are our loved ones in our home. If not careful, home will get our Christmas leftovers-grumpy moods, hurried traditions, greediness, and diseregard for our loved ones. We have to choose to make a real effort to make Christmas in our homes "Christmas Central", the pulse of the Christmas season. Why? Home is already the central part of our lives. It is the place we start our day and end our day, everyday. If things are going bad at home, it affects every part of our lives and likewise, if things are going great at home, it affects every part of our lives.

So, how can we ensure that our home is "Christmas Central"?

First, by seeking the Lord daily (and all day!) for how you can best celebrate Christ's birth in your home. For some it is with lots of decorating, for some it is with lots of baking, for some it is with lots of parties, for some it's all about the gifts. Whatever you do, be sure that it is God honoring and that the celebration our Savior's birth is clearly communicated to all in your home. We are not just doing these things because we are victims of mass marketing or American culture. We're doing these things because of our love for God and our excitement that "unto us a child is born! Jesus! Emannuel! Wonderful Counselor! Mighty God!

Second, by using the Christmas season as opportunities to teach your children and grandchildren about God! I love the part of a Passover Sedar when the children ask certain questions about the Exodus. How about trying it for Christmas and making it meaningful for your family. Why do we hang up lights? Because Jesus is the light of the world! Why do we have Santa? Because "he" is here and gone before he can can take any credit for the gifts he gave, the same way God wants us to give. Why do we hang up greens? Becuase they remind us of life, life that comes from our Creator. Why do we watch Christmas Movies, Carol, Bake Cookies? Because it's a great reason to spend time together! Why do we work so hard to minister to others? Because that's how God's work gets done! We give to others in Jesus name because he's not physically here to do it! There is so much to learn and faith growing experiences for our children during the Christmas season!

Third, by asking for and exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit in your home. Not just for the "outside world" or worse, "your church world". Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control! The Holy Spirit helps us at all times and that includes in your home. I really like the self control one because it lines up all the others- I won't snap at my husband if I'm self controlled. I won't complain about something if I'm self controled. There are problems in the home that would be solved if everyone were self controlled! These are not attitudes that magically happen. It takes practice and being obedient to God so that His Spirit will flourish inside of you.

Make sure that your home is Christmas Central this season. Beginning with you, make it a place of celebration, teaching, and fruitful attitudes! Afterall, next to Christ, women are the heartbeat of the home!


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

great reminders! Thanks Rachel!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I love this! I love the part about Santa. I've never heard that before. That is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

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