10 “Skiing Techniques” to Stay Above the Avalanche

These following points are not rules, but tools for you to consider.  After examining this list, if you perceive ideas that will help you “ski above the avalanche” of Christmas clutter and franticness, good!  The main point is to celebrate Christmas and keep our Christ centered focus.

Also notice that cutting back is not one of the suggestions.  Many times cutting back on what we wish to do at Christmas and what is asked of us at Christmas is not practical or possible.  Even when we do “cut back,”, a few events can be as frustrating and overwhelming as many events.

10.    Every day pray for a heart that focuses on the real reason for the Christmas season. You may wish to pray in the morning when you begin your day, or at a time in the day when you know that your heart will be stressed.

9.     When purchasing a gift, consciously think that the gift is given because of the Christ child.

8.     When you receive Christmas cards or letters, pray for the family to whom you are sending your card and pray that their Christmas preparations will go well. Pray also for those families who send you a card or letter.

7.     When your kids are around allow them to see your Christ centered Christmas focus and joy. You don’t have to say much if anything.    On some occasions, tell your kids about the Christ center to the Christmas preparations.  Be forewarned, if you talk extensively, your kids may turn you off even if they are polite and don’t say anything.  A short, heart-felt expression (possibly only 60 seconds) will be much more effective, than a long expression or an expression that someone may consider nagging.

RE point 7:  If your words about Christ and Christmas are good but your actions portray anger or frustration at Christmas, your kids will pick up on the actions.  Almost every time actions negate words.

6.      Don’t complain about Christmas or the events of Christmas. When we verbalize what bothers us we do not get the thought out of our mind and heart.  When we verbalize, we intensify what we speak about and that frustration or anger is settled more firmly in the heart.  Also, do not complain about Christmas or Christmas events in front of your kids.  Kids may internalize the complaining as “Christmas is a bad holiday that we want over as soon as possible,” and the sinful nature may take it one step further, that “Christ is a bad thing.”  Anger always raises walls between people and does not allow us to cope or deal.  Complaining is a sub-category of anger.  When you need to vent do so in your private devotion time and take it to the One who can truly help with your issues.

5.    Be aware of expectations are placed upon you at Christmas and the expectations that you have for yourself. Why are your expectations so high?  Are they legitimate or are they really unattainable?  How can you change the expectations?  Be aware of setting unattainable expectations and many times, high expectations are unattainable.

If your expectations for Christmas are higher than other family members, cut back to the norm of your family and increase expectations from that norm in a few areas that you want to make special.  Your high expectations might be considered hyper-expectations.  If you try to force your high expectations on other you will frustrate yourself when you cannot reach them and you will frustrate your family.

4.    Recognize the temptations and events in your life that cause you to get buried in the avalanche of events around you. When you recognize the temptations then you can better react.

3.     It is so easy to forget the LORD among all the hectic-ness, tasks, and events of the season. Daily remember Jesus as the center of the season.

2.     Have your own personal devotion, not a family devotion. Use your private devotion time be a time to decompress from the hectic-ness of the day.  If you prefer to do a family devotion or a devotion with your spouse you may not be able to decompress because in a small group setting you need to take into account others who may have different agendas.

1.   Be willing to have joy and happiness at Christmas time.  That may sound like an odd statement but there are people who have a hard time allowing joy and happiness in their lives.  They allow anger and frustration, but not joy and happiness.  Joy and happiness come from within, not from what goes on around you.  We have a great reason to rejoice and be happy at Christmas.  The LORD took on our humanity and broke into a world that Satan thought was all his.  Jesus broke in as a baby and would grow up to save all people from their sin by his death on the cross.  Every redeemed sinner has a great reason to rejoice at Christmas.

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