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Holiday Time

11/30/2008 04:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

Here come the Holidays! Are you psyched? The Christmas décor came out even earlier than usual in the department stores this year. In the middle of October, one friend said he saw a Santa in a store holding a pumpkin. I also received my Cabela’s Christmas 2008 catalog, and do you know that inside they gave me a coupon for 20 percent off if I place an order of $150 dollars or more? Wow, I was tempted to look for things in the catalog that I didn’t need just to save money and get a jump on my Christmas list and my holiday shopping! 

For many of you, the demands and obligations of the holiday season propel you into a pace of life that is often fun, but also fast and furious. The parties, the shopping, the meals and the gatherings seem to subtly grow in magnitude each year. There is a part of us that looks forward to all of the frenetic festivity, but after all is said and done and another January rolls around, we often look back with tired bodies, depleted spirits and souls that replace “ho, ho, ho” with a sighing “ho, ho, hum.”
 
I think we have all wondered at one time or another, “Is it all necessary?” Moreover, have we celebrated the holidays with all the American gusto we can muster? Perhaps, but did we truly experience a spirit of gratitude during Thanksgiving and well up with the joy of Christmas? Are holidays hopelessly harried? I want to encourage you to be intentional, be courageous and do some things differently this year to fight that trend. 

Start now and get out a piece of paper. Make a list of words that describe what you want your holidays to be like.  Brainstorm with your spouse and kids and get their desires down on the list. You might want to make a list of what you liked best about some of your past holidays, and what you liked least. Next, jot down some ideas about what you can intentionally do less of, or more of this year to get you closer to the holiday experience reflected in your list. Now, get out your calendar. Here’s where you will need the courage that I mentioned earlier. Block time out (or block time in) for the things that will help you to have the holiday season you are longing for.

I hope you will take time to slow down, linger with your spouse and loiter with your kids. Making time to be fully present with your closest circle of family and friends is one of the most important gifts you can give and receive.  
 
Finally, in the midst of all the demands of Christmas, don’t forget to reflect on the stunning reality of what the holiday means to you, whatever that may be. Here comes Christmas! Enjoy it to the fullest.


Brian Long is senior pastor at the Church of the Foothills in Cameron Park. To reach Pastor Long, call 530-677-3057.

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