Christmas week is here. Students are home from school and parents are off of work. Christmas break is a much needed time for us to pause and reflect on what our wonderful God has done for us by putting on flesh and coming to dwell among us. Unfortunately, if we are not careful Christmas break can become a time of stress, bickering, and spiritual apathy. I would like to take a few moments and consider together with you five ways to have a great Christmas break in 2015.

1. Spend Intentional Time Remembering The Savior.

The wonderful truth that God left His throne to come dwell here on earth is a truth that we live by every day of the year as followers of Christ. What a a great time, however, to intentionally meditate on Christ’s first coming. Make a reading schedule for you and your family of the foundational birth accounts. Here are a few to consider.

Isaiah 9:1-7

Luke 1

Luke 2

John 1

Philippians 2:1-11

2. Seek Peace in Unresolved Conflicts.

Jesus Christ came to bring peace. The first and most importance peace that Christ brought was peace with God The Father through His death and resurrection.  He also came to bring peace in the church. Ephesians 2:11-17 tells us that God has brought all Christian, Jews and Gentiles together into one body, the Church. The Church is to be a place of peace. Sometimes our pride, arrogance, and bitter spirits creep in and corrupt that peace. As Christians, because we now have peace with God we should strive through all means possible to be at peace with all men, including even unbelievers (Romans 12:18). If there is unresolved conflict and/or bitterness in your heart. Call or have a meal with the person you have issues with and seek peace. Let them know that because Christ came to bring peace, you are seeking to have peace with them. Do not allow bitterness and unforgiveness to rob you and others of the joy of Christmas

3. Make Memories With Your Family

Christmas is not a commanded festival or holiday for Christians, and we are not commanded to get family Christmas pictures with Santa every year (for which I am thankful). However, do not allow the busyness of the season keep your from having some Christmas movie nights, a drive through the neighborhood to look at lights, or a trip to get pictures with Santa (please don’t leave a reply telling me the error of my ways and for misleading my readers into a lie. I’m sure you can find another blog to discuss the theological ramifications of Santa Claus on children.) Some of my favorite memories from childhood are the seemingly pointless Christmas traditions, but they remind me of the joy of simply being a family. My favorite tradition was the yearly ornament. Each year my mom would buy an ornament that had something to do with an event of the past year. When each of us leaves the home we take our childhood ornaments with us. I am able now to tell my wife and kids stories from my childhood based on the ornaments on our tree. Be sure to establish some sort of regular Christmas tradition revolving around Christ. One of my most cherished memories was the annual reading of Christ’s birth by my dad before we opened presents on Christmas morning. Dad, through the scriptures would remind us that Christ was the greatest gift ever given.

4. Make a List of People to Bless

Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” If you have friends and church family like mine, you know that it is impossible to ever repay them for the kindness and love they show to you on a regular basis. Do not allow your lack of resources to hold you back from being a blessing this Christmas season. Whether it is simply a heart felt card or a thousand dollars, do whatever you can with the resources God has given you to bless those around you this Christmas.

5. Get Some Extra Rest

During the Christmas season we have to learn to say, “no.” Christmas easily becomes a time of burn out and anything but remembering what Christ has done because we agree to every Christmas event, every concert, and every cookie party. I am not saying to be a humbug or follow the example of the couple in , “Christmas with the Kranks.” Enjoy some parties but don’t allow all of the invitations to rule you. Get some rest while remembering the Savior with your family and friends.

May this Christmas break be the best yet. Blessings to you and your family.

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