Only a few hours to go until the clock strikes midnight. And just before the twenty-fifth comes around, I’m sure we all have to do lists waiting to be ticked off. What’s on your list of things to do for the holidays? For most that list will probably be filled with things like gifts, food, shopping and some cash if you’re lucky.
Now I’m not going to be the one to demonize the material this Christmas season. By all means, go for it! I know I’ve got a few dishes and items on my list and on my mind. But I do hope that our lists are a bit deeper than that, and I’m sure it is.
But just in case you’re wanting that Christmas wish list to go a bit deeper the next few days, allow me to share a few truly valuable things to chase this Christmas. I hope this list affirms what is already on your list or adds something of value to you this holiday season.
Christmas is cultural in so many ways. It’s a time for families to come together. But one thing I hope this Christmas does is prompt us to build more memories with family and friends. Not just on Christmas day, but all throughout the year.
Too often we treat Christmas as a “catch up game” using that time as the only slot out of our busy schedules to connect with those who mean most to us. Let your memory bank go deeper. Use the holiday season to plan more get-togethers in 2018. Start looking at those flights, travels, long weekends together with those you love and make a list!
Now I know spending Christmas like the bears is never a good idea- staying up all year and collapsing when solstice comes. But the Christmas break does provide a good window of true and meaningful rest. I’m not just talking about sleep. I’m talking about pausing from all that is stressful and busy.
Guess what? Your boss probably doesn’t want to work on the holidays. And if he does, then he or she is a boss worth ignoring for a week or so. Take a few days off. Get lazy on the couch. Sit on that porch with a coffee in hand. You deserve it. 2017 might have been brutal but you survived!
The one key to becoming better next year than you were the last is to reflect. Take a pen and paper and start writing the things you did right, and then those that you didn’t. How can you make more good decisions? What’s one area this year that you really didn’t do well?
Knowledge and experience is great, but they are not the best teachers. They’re just a collection of random data. Take the time to crunch those numbers and come up with a plan to become better next year round.
Three hundred and sixty five days is plenty of time to get off track. I know I’ve lost focus a couple of times along the way. Christmas is often a great time to realign and reestablish your direction. Keep tabs on the turns you’ve made and the odd sets you’ve had. Correct that course and pursue which that is worth pursuing.
Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? Are you doing the things necessary to take you to that place? If not, then what are some things you need to let go of to get back on track? Let the pause be a time to realign core values and core goals in your life.
We all ask, “What’s the reason for this season?” If you’re a believer then you’ll know that Christ is. But the challenge Christians have is not knowing that Jesus is whom we celebrate. The challenge lies in making that realization real in our lives. How do we apply Christ and the Gospel to the practical?
Christ is the reason, not just for the season. He’s the reason for your relationships, jobs, passions, service and your whole life. But it’s up to you to apply that. And in that search for Christ in the details of your life, you will find meaning. In Christ there is always value waiting to be unearthed. You just need to dig and refine.
What else are you pursuing this Christmas that will add more value to you? Are you setting aside time on your holiday schedules to do that?