Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Putting Christ back in Christmas

Apparently Caity and I are on the same wave length lately, because this post may have some common threads from her post on Friday.

Like Caity, I've never really been a Black Friday shopper. I don't love the chaos of shopping crowds on a normal day. So Black Friday has rarely tempted me. Zack probably thought he really lucked out by marrying someone who doesn't want to wake up at the crack of dawn to drag him around the mall and spend all the money. But you guys, there is something far more dangerous than plain old Black Friday. Its called Cyber (Psycho) Monday. Online shopping is a habit forming experience. You stay in your pajamas, in the comfort of your own home. It's just too easy. Then you add in the convenience of the Amazon or Zulily app and its just a recipe for disaster. So when Cyber Monday comes around it's all about dem dealz.

Normally I have to pull myself away from my social media apps. But on Cyber Monday, its' all the shopping apps that I can't get enough of. I'm not going to lie to you. I may have switched tabs a few times while writing this post, just to double check deals. I've become consumed with my gift list, and searching for hours and through pages of funky socks and kitchen gadgets to find the perfect gifts. 

I'm really excited about Christmas. LIKE REALLY excited. Christmas is by far my favorite time of year, and I may have started listening to Christmas music on November 1st. I love the music, and the cookies, and the decorations. I love the nativities, and the opportunity to talk about Christ more. I love that its one time of year when we get to be with all of our family. I love to get gifts, obviously. But even more, I love giving gifts. I love everything about Christmas time (yes, even the snow.) 

But for some reason this year, it's been harder to let Christ sit at the forefront of my Christmas celebration. I'm so stressed out about what I'm going to buy for everyone for Christmas, that I haven't even taken 5 minutes to watch the new video about Christ. The shopping has totally distracted me from the real reason we even give gifts. I haven't really pondered Christ, or thought about what I'm going to give Him this year. So, I've pulled myself away from all the dealz, to make a list of 25 ways to put Christ back into Christmas. 

I like to think about what Christ would be doing if he were here. I think He'd be serving, He'd be spreading joy, He'd be feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. He'd be doing things to lift people up and make their lives a little easier. So that's exactly how I'll serve him this Christmas. One of our modern day apostles, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "As we emulate His perfect example, our hands become his hands, our eyes his eyes, and our hearts His heart."  I want to take more time this season to worship Christ, to share my testimony of Christ with others, and to be His hands. 

I want to get my Christmas season back on track. So each day, I'll complete at least one thing on the list until Christmas. Most of them won't require much money, or much work. But they will each be an outward act of my love for Christ. Each experience will step outside my normal routine to focus my heart on Christ.  
Christ said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." As we become His hands on the Earth we will come to know Him more deeply, we will see people through His eyes, and our hearts will become more like His. I hope you'll join me in making this Christmas season more about Christ. Make your own list, or steal mine. Let's focus on giving the gifts that Christ would give.

1. Read this book as a family
2. Take dinner to a friend
3. Watch this video with my family
4. Donate a Toy
5. Donate a Coat
6. Pay for someone's groceries
7. Scrape someone's windshield
8. Shovel someone's driveway
9. Babysit someone's kids
10. Bear my testimony of Christ
11. Pay for someone's order at the drive-thru
12. Read Luke 2
13. Doorbell ditch cookies
14. Visit an assisted living home
15. Call an older family member
16. Leave quarters at the quarter machines
17. Donate to No Kid Hungry
18. Buy a gift card and hide it in the store
19. Post a message about Christ on Facebook
20. Post about Christ on Instagram
21. Pay 10 people genuine compliments in one day
22. Pick up garbage
23. Write thank you cards and mail them out
24. Make a Nativity craft
25. Visit a live Nativity


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