Every year Christmas is a weight around my neck. I begin the feel the downward pull into Holiday Dread around August. Panic sets in around mid-November.
Not this time.
Over the past few years, I’ve set out to redeem the things I hate. The way it works is this: I’m miserable because I’m focused on myself instead of on the Gospel. So I ask God to help me focus on the Him and His Kingdom instead.
Practical application: In college, Valentine’s Day became the day I cooked and baked goodies for all my single friends and delivered them as “The Valentine’s Fairy.” I still do this and love it!
This year for Christmas, I’ve begun accumulating a list of places I can serve and help out. Our BIble study did a huge fundraiser for GFA that brought in more than twice as much as my high goal.
And since my family already did GFA last year in lieu of presents, they were on board for this year, too! As a family, we donated 4x what we gave last year!
Some of my friends and I are making eggs and bacon for the homeless guys in my neighborhood. Just setting up a table on the corner and hanging out.
I’m looking for other people who have crappy Christmas situations (divorce, sickness, child in custody of other parent, etc.) and I’m praying about ways to lighten their load and share some of the Father’s joy with them. It thrills me when I find a need like that and get to put it on my calendar.
What I’m finding is that the Gospel actually works. Not just to save people from hell, but to save me from the tyranny of myself. And perhaps you may think that’s selfish too. But the God I serve is loving and efficient enough to make the right thing bring joy. He’s beautiful like that.