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Shari Popejoy




50 Days of Encouragement

December 1, 2011
 

Simplifying CHRISTmas

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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Christmas is coming. Feel the pressure?!

Presents to wrap, cards to send out , cookies to make, tree to decorate. . . tired already? You have to make it through Christmas, and you still need to think about how many pounds you want to gain between now and then, so you’ll know how many you want to lose for your New Year’s Resolution. :D

Well, I’m going to share with you how I found Christmas JOY. I do only what will bring me, or others,  joy at Christmas time. I give you permission to steal my idea. :D Try it this year.

It is easy. It will only require a few announcements. . . “Ahem <clear throat significantly>, may I have your attention please? I have an important announcement to make. I have allowed Christmas to become something that controls me instead of being an extension of blessing and joy. So, in order to remedy an out-of-control impostor-holiday, I choose instead to manage this Christmas. In order to facilitate this change, I am announcing that –“

And here’s where it gets fun!!! You will have their attention. The floor is yours! Their eyes are big, and they are just waiting for you to speak! (And they’re probably thinking, “Oh, no — I’m getting no presents!”)

  • “Children, you may select <pick a number — any number> gifts for us to consider. . . or we’re only giving handmade or service gifts this year. . . or we’re donating a cow to a poor family in Africa. . . or we’re only buying local this year. . . or. . . <fill in the blank> “

Picture Christmas morning, and then make it happen. –If you are all about wrapping paper strewn on the floor and children clamoring for more, and demanding, “Is this all there is?” then go for it!

If you picture something different. . . go for it!

  • How many parties will you attend? If you want to schedule every single evening in December with a celebration . . . then go for it!
  • What kinds of gifts will you give, and to whom?
  • Who do you want to bless this Christmas?
  • Consider simplifying. Make a card to attach to a handmade ornament, “In an effort to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, please accept this token of my extreme affection and love for you. . . ” Add a handwritten note of love if you want. . . and use that as the gift you give EVERYONE! Write something like: ‘God sent His son to bring JOY to the world and PEACE and GOODWILL. Join me in celebrating the SPIRIT of Christmas!’

It’s a wonderful life — and it’s your life. Write down a perfect Christmas season of celebration, and then make it come to pass. No one is holding you hostage! You don’t have to send cards, unless it brings you joy! You don’t have to attend every single party. . . unless you want to.

When you receive an invitation, say, “Let me check my schedule.” And then if you decide that your schedule includes putting your feet up, having a cup of hot cocoa, and watching a Christmas movie with your kids. . . then say:  “I’m so sorry, but I have already made a commitment for that evening, and I will be unable to attend. — Merry Christmas (to me!).”

If you want to make Christmas cookies every Monday evening with your children. . . then do it! If you want to have Christmas at home with your own family. . . then do it! If you want to read the Christmas story to your children by candlelight . . . then do it! If you want Christmas morning to be quiet and contemplative. . . then do it! If you want it to be whooping and hollering. . . then do it!!

Create Christmas for your family, in a way that works with your budget, your talents, and your time constraints! It’s your Christmas! Most of all, consider making it about celebrating the SEASON and the MESSAGE. People are receptive to the message of the gospel — share it with them! Enjoy the Christmas music playing in the stores. Take a moment to celebrate the LOVE and JOY and PEACE. Slow down, and make this Christmas a time of celebration and JOY.

And be sure to say “Merry CHRISTmas!” to everyone you meet!

Shari

p.s. It’s your husband’s Christmas, too. . . . so obviously you’ll want to make these decisions together! Sit down and decide together how you both will lead your family in celebrating this season with JOY, PEACE and LOVE!



About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!



sharipopejoy.com

 
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