Few things are needed—or indeed only one…It will not be taken away…(Luke 10:42)
My greatest desire is to keep Jesus at the center of my life, to honor Him in everything I do. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, He is the One I need. Nevertheless, every year during the Christmas season, I am challenged by distraction. As I make this struggle a matter of prayer, He gently speaks to my heart, “Keep it simple.”
How do I keep it simple? Here are some things that work for me.
Know myself. There are lots of ways to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. What is meaningful to me? I love Christmas music. Listening to carols fills my heart. I play Christmas carols while I work on projects to keep myself in tune. How do I connect best with the Lord? I hear from Him while reading His Word, so I start and end my days with devotional and prayer time. When I know myself I can intentionally include nourishing elements in my life.
Adjust expectations. I don’t have to accept every invitation. For years I felt pressure to say “yes” to everything. It’s okay to set priorities. When I’m not sure, I ask the Lord for wisdom. I used to send almost 200 Christmas cards to my personal contact list, in addition to cards to business associates. I didn’t mind doing it, but I felt that I was supposed to. One year, while I was feeling stress, I sensed the Lord encourage me to let the cards go. I haven’t sent them since, and it is very freeing. I have found other ways to express my care to loved ones.
Schedule down time. Taking time to relax is important during the holidays. Rest and refreshing don’t happen by accident. Placing down time on my calendar creates space to breathe and commune with the Lord. Then I can enjoy the other activities of the season.
I love keeping the Christmas season simple with Jesus Christ as the focus. It is truly life-giving to worship my Savior throughout the holidays.