Christmas is upon us. Just a few more days and we will be knee deep in wrapping paper and covered in bows. Laying on the couch overstuffed with cookies and others carbohydrates. Then like that, Christmas is gone. Everyone goes back home, back to college; we tear down the tree, the lights and the nativity set you got fifteen years ago. There are things though that we need to continue to think of throughout the year, not just on Christmas. We need to think about being kinder, more generous, and reflect more on Jesus.
This time of year is always awesome because it just seems people are kinder. They smile more and are just genuinely more cheerful. Expect maybe Black Friday shopping, but we won’t get into that now. We need to extend that kindness throughout the year. We quickly forget the “spirit of the holidays” as soon as New Years is over. What can you do to be a kinder person this year? Maybe it is just saying you will compliment people more often, or swear less at bad drivers. Treating people well should be a priority throughout the year, not just on Christmas.
People give, a lot, this season. Maybe they save up all year just to give, or they have a “Christmas Carol” moment and wish to turn from their Scrooge-like ways. Either way, we are more generous during the Christmas season. What does it look like to be more open-handed throughout the year. Giving more of our time to others more regularly. Volunteer somewhere on a regular basis and become a staple of that organization that you’re passionate about. Give more of our talents away, using what you’re talented in to help a cause, to help a friend, and to further what God is doing in your church. There is always a need and you can fill that. We can be more generous with our money throughout the year. Instead of giving 10%, what if you gave 12%? You can become a better tipper at restaurants or buy that extra box of girl scout cookies and give them away. This upcoming year, lets learn from this Christmas and be more generous with our time, talents and things.
It is natural for us to think more about Jesus on His birthday. Yet, we get busy and distracted as Jesus slowly takes a back seat to life. Let 2016 be different. Take one month to be committed to one spiritual discipline, evaluate and keep it going the rest of the year. Carve out time to pray, read more, sing or play worship. Commit to that journal that you’ve written in twice and swear you’ll get back to but keep pushing it off. Keep Jesus the priority throughout the year. Allow Jesus to be the motivation for why you’re more generous and why you are kinder to others. Make it a priority to grow closer to Jesus in the new year.
We can bring the spirit of Christmas with us the rest of the year. Being kinder, being more generous, and loving Jesus in a deeper way is possible all year round. Lets extend the holiday cheer throughout the New Year.