Technically Christmas is only celebrated one day per year, but our cultural practice reflects something entirely different. We emphasize Christmas for an entire month (more if you work in retail). Although Christmas is meant to focus on Jesus, we can get spread so thin between Black Friday and December 24th that we often find ourselves feeling disconnected from Jesus rather than closer to him. As you’re reading this, you can probably relate; you’re tired from shopping, cooking, decorating, going to parties, planning events, and wrapping. That’s enough to make anyone feel a little spiritual burn out already.
Here are 5 ways to repair a spiritual holiday burnouts:
1. Focus your traditions on Jesus.
Christmas traditions are wonderful, but sometimes we can get more wrapped up in the traditions themselves rather than in Christ who inspired the traditions in the first place. Between now and Christmas, deliberately tie every tradition (old and new) back to Jesus and talk to others about the significance of those traditions.
2. Intentionally bring your family together more often.
I realize your schedule is nuts and a daily time with your family might not be realistic, but what if you tried? Wouldn’t it be better to aim for 7 days a week and only hit three, as opposed to aiming at none and hitting the target? This December make an extra special effort to pull your family together and talk about Jesus more. You’ll be glad you did!
3. Focus on the bigger picture.
Don’t get so caught up in shopping, cooking, decorations and parties that you accidentally miss the beauty of Christmas. Jesus didn’t come to earth so we could all wear loud sweaters and sing carols. The God of the universe came in the form of a human baby to demonstrate the radical extent of His love for us.
Christmas is about the masterfully-crafted love story between God and humanity. It is about the transcendent connecting with the physical. It is about the eternal touching the transient, the perfect embracing the flawed and the Holy pardoning the wretched. Talk about these truths and meditate on them. It will make your Christmas full of wonder and worship.
4. Refuse to set time with God on the shelf.
My family puts out nativity sets on shelves throughout our home. Sadly, just as easily as we set a small ceramic Jesus on the shelf, we can also set our time with him there as well. We don’t intentionally neglect time with Christ; we just get busy. Less time with our savior naturally makes us feel distant from him. Fight off the holiday slump by staying connected to Jesus.
5. Have fun.
Stress related to shopping, planning, cooking, cleaning and standing in lines becomes hectic and that can take our focus off of God’s goodness. Don’t let the previous 4 ideas become just another list of things to stress you out. Make them fun! Don’t force your kids to spend time with you, help them look forward to it by making it enjoyable. Remember, if Christmas isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong!