The fun of Christmas!
Christmas has been fun for centuries. So much so that Puritans actually banned its celebration because of the frivolity and feasting associated with it (and the drunkenness and general bad behavior - have to say I can't blame them for that!). There is still plenty of feasting and frivolity associated with Christmas, and I don't have a problem with most of it. But if I am not careful, the fun threatens to overrun my weeks and leave me exhausted by Christmas. And somewhere along the way, my focus on Jesus gets lost, too. So here are the questions I am asking myself this year to enjoy the fun but still keep my focus where I want it to be.
How will this impact my children? A week of crazy bedtimes and constant activity is one thing, but a whole month of it spells trouble. I want to keep their schedule as normal as possible, which means saying no to some of the fun activities that would keep us out late, and to preserve bedtimes for our Advent activities and family prayer times,
How will this impact my relationships with others? Will it nurture bonds with my family or split us up into competing activities? Is it something I can invite a friend to, someone I have been wanting to reach out to? Will it build friendships with a group I have been wanting to get to know better?
How will this impact my spirit? Not that every activity has to have a spiritual element to it, but if activity after activity ignores the meaning of Christmas, I start to notice it and feel like I need to fill that part of my tank again. I try to choose fun activities that bring in reminders about the "reason for the season". At the same time, if I am feeling stressed and pressured, sometimes a little fun and frivolity is what I need to relieve that pressure and see things from a different angle!
Of course, sometimes an activity can be 100% good, but still not right for your schedule. Don't let all of the good of the season overwhelm your calendar, your schedule, and your energy. Choose wisely, asking God for wisdom make choices that honor Him.
What part of the Christmas season is the most fun for you? How do you keep it from wearing you out and stealing your focus from Jesus?