Turning Christmas Upside Down
Turning Christmas Upside Down

It’s Christmas time – again.

Already.

We long for the season to come in quiet and hushed, with cooler temps, soft white lights, and long evenings cozied up to a roaring fire, but for me, it doesn’t happen that way. It abruptly slams into my neat life with too much to do, unrealistic expectations, hurriedness, offensive consumerism, and a time clock that moves way faster than usual. I kind of feel body-slammed and it has barely begun.

 

I’m fairly sure that you are already too busy to even read this blog about turning Christmas upside down, but let’s take a hot minute and remind each other how to do this well.

 

I sincerely want to honor the Savior during this season and I think that starts with remembering who the real joy steeler is. It helps me to recognize that the enemy of Christ(mas) is hard at work implementing his brilliant strategy to take our eyes off of the Savior of the world and put them on ourselves.

 

We so easily take the bait and torment ourselves with nagging questions and accusations like,

“What do we want for Christmas?

What do we need for our families?

What do we all deserve?

What do we have to have to make us all happy and fulfilled?”

 

We play right into his hands if we give in to that discontent or fear of our kid’s bad attitudes if they don’t get what they want.  Can I feel satisfied with the decorations that I already have or is Instagram comparison making me strive for an elusive perception of perfection that isn’t attainable? Am I so compelled to provide what everyone else is getting that I choose to take on debt that I will regret in February…and the rest of the year?

Think of it this way, why do we let the enemy of Christ plan His celebration party?

 

Turning Christmas upside down is putting Jesus at the center, at the focal point. It’s helping my family fix our eyes on why God sent his son Jesus here as a baby to save us. It’s talking about what he is saving us from. It’s an excellent time to look at our sin and how it robs and steals an intimate relationship with Jesus from us and leads us on a destructive path. Without Jesus coming to rescue us and pull us out of our own pit we would have no hope, no future, no joy of walking closely with the Lord.

Jesus came to show us how to live and it’s the opposite of the temptations the enemy of Christ throws at us. Instead of selfishness and the gimmies, Jesus modeled generosity and selflessness. He taught us to lavishly love and to give in his name.

 

So, this Christmas I am going to guard my own heart and protect the main thing – Jesus. I recognize that as the matriarch of my family I have a tremendous amount of influence over my family. Women, we can steer our families any way we choose. Let’s use our power to put the emphasis on Christ and the story of how he came to save us all from sin because we can’t save ourselves. Let’s lavishly pour the love and beauty and gifts of the season in the name of and in the honor of Jesus.

 

I was recently at an event where my friends were sharing how they do Christmas and so many of the ideas they shared were inspiring and noteworthy. One mom shared how she and her husband chose early in their marriage and family to be radical and forego individual presents on Christmas.

Instead, they focus on giving to others on that day and have taught their six amazing children to turn Christmas upside down. They use their anniversary as a family birthday and celebrate giving each other gifts on that day so that on Christmas the focus is on Jesus.

Another mom shared that in her family they give 3 gifts, one spiritual gift that supports growth in their lives, one fun individual gift, and one family gift to be enjoyed together.

Several moms shared about using some form of Advent to draw their family’s hearts to the Lord. The word advent means waiting and during advent, we wait and anticipate the coming of Jesus. Many advent activities center around a daily scripture reading.

One woman said she lets her kids move the nativity figures around the room each night after reading part of the Christmas story so they get closer and closer to Jesus until at the final reading on Christmas they have arrived at Jesus.

 

Whatever you do personally this Christmas to celebrate our amazing God, our Savior and the Lord of the earth make sure that in the end, you arrive at Jesus. Take some intentional time to decide now how you want to honor Jesus and guard your heart this season. I hope the result is that your family experiences the gift of Jesus, from the Father, as He originally intended for it to be lavishly received.

Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!

Tyler OJ Campus

Teresa Ator: teresaa@gcc.org

Bethanie Tayler: bethaniet@gcc.org

Tyler UB Campus

Max Heller: maxh@gcc.org

Marthe Durosiermarthed@gcc.org

Lindale Campus

Molly Pontius: mollyp@gcc.org

Debra Kirby: debra@gcc.org

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