An Intentional Journey to Make This The Best Christmas Ever
Every evening my daughter Dominique and I go for a walk with our golden retriever, Bella. It is a wonderful way to unwind, to be silly and to finish another busy day.
Our sweet, cuddly Bella literally trained our entire neighborhood to love on her during these walks. No one is allowed to pass us without a proper hug or pat on her back.
These “Bella stops” provide many opportunities to catch up with our neighbors as well as to meet new ones.
Recently on one of these walks, I had a conversation with a very sweet lady about the upcoming holidays. Afterwards, I realized that our main focus was not about the true Spirit of Christmas. But it was rather an exchange of to–do-lists and creative ideas on how to squeeze all the extra planning and shopping into our already overloaded calendars.
CHRISTMAS OVERDRIVE MODE
Can you relate to this? We write our Christmas gift list, plan the menu, take Christmas pictures, send out Christmas cards and try to keep up with the extra parties and commitments.
Are you able to ignore the big buzz about Christmas or are you a high energy Christmas Elf who likes to dive into a frantic shopping spree the night before Christmas? I think that at some point and time nobody is able to escape the dangerous Christmas overdrive mode.
CHRISTMAS A MAGICAL SEASON
I absolutely love the magical time of Christmas with all of the candle and cookie fragrances, lights, music, decorations and especially all of our family traditions. Our son Benjamin (my personal Christmas buddy) and I can hardly wait for the day after Thanksgiving when we are officially allowed to decorate the whole house while playing our favorite Christmas songs. We eagerly welcome the magical season that makes our hearts overflow with joy.
Ben is the first one who pulls his Christmas pajamas out of his closet and cuddles up on the couch to watch the classical Christmas movies with me. I am grateful for his pure love and joy for the most wonderful time of the year. He is also the one who pulls me back into the true meaning of Christmas when I am lost in the hustle and bustle of the preparations.
We all have many childhood memories when it comes to Christmas. These memories shape our traditions we have with our children. We capture them numerous times in our photos, which show our children opening their stockings on St. Nickolas Day on December 6th . On this special day our children receive a Christmas ornament that represents their highlight of this year or illustrates their current passion. All traditions prepare our hearts for the true meaning of Christmas and allow us to pause and soak up the moments of joy and laughter we love to share with each other.
Pictures of us baking cookies, making Christmas ornaments, setting up our Christmas tree and singing Christmas carols are pointing me towards the most important reason for our traditions. These traditions help us to stop and prepare our hearts together for the greatest gift mankind ever received.
CHRISTMAS TIME – A TIME TO ALSO PREPARE OUR HEARTS
For centuries it has been a practice of Christians around the whole world to prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ. It is so important to pass on the faith as well as the beauty and wonder of the story of God’s sacrifice in sending his son Jesus Christ to earth.
While this season most likely will be just as busy and stressful as in the previous years, I decided to fight for quiet moments to revel in the miracle of our rescuer who came to earth to become human and redeem our lives. Our traditions will help to usher our hearts into focusing on God’s faithfulness and love for us.
CHRISTMAS - OUR FAMILY TRADITION PILGRIMAG
During Advent this year, which usually begins four Sundays before Christmas I decided to go on our family tradition pilgrimage purposefully. It will be a daily walk of remembering my longing I carry in my heart for His return. It will be a time to focus on loving and serving others. A daily walk of loving my neighbors in a tangible way and meditating on the true purpose of the Christmas season by slowing down and focusing on what matters most: adoring our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every Sunday leading up to Christmas we will light up a new candle of hope, joy and love.
I hope you will join me on this intentional journey to make this a Christmas to remember in our hearts. My prayer for you is that this Christmas will become the most meaningful and impactful voyage through His powerful and transforming gift, His ability to meet you exactly where you are to fulfill the deepest longing in your heart, and to bring healing to your deepest wounds.