“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more….”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The stockings are hung by the TV with care. The nativity displayed, the tree decorated, the Advent calendar counting down. Presents are piled in the closet waiting to be wrapped as Christmas carols play 24 hours a day on the radio.
Sometimes though? Even when all the to-do lists are checked off it feels unfinished. This holiday season with all the trimmings and sparkle can feel empty and hard. Our hearts crave peace and beauty and the world offers solutions that come packaged in obligations and expectations, visions of what should be. And when we delight in the beauty we feel guilty for the joy.
This Christmas season, what if we made the season about more than just reading an Advent or doing a devotional? What if we saw the trimmings and sparkle and stockings as gifts to be given and shared with others? Let’s take our decorations and traditions and turn them into reasons to bring community into our homes. Invite a friend to join you for coffee by that beautifully lit Christmas tree, or invite a family over to bake cookies.
Can we spread joy this Christmas, using what we’ve already done in our homes? What if this Christmas, we chose to offer our gifts of hospitality, encouragement, decorating, gift-wrapping, singing, or crafting as ways to bless others? As God blesses us with these gifts, let’s take them and pour love and grace into the hearts around us. The world might tell us we have to spend money and buy things to make Christmas come alive. And devotionals and Advent calendars might make us feel ashamed to want the sparkle and the lovely. But this Christmas? Can we simply remember who gave us those gifts, give Him all glory and praise, and be gift-givers?
Let’s make this Christmas mean a little bit more.
Crystal is a writer, speaker, freelance editor, occasional song-writer, and lover of words and coffee. She also proudly wears the hats of wife, to her high-school sweetheart, Matt, and mama to their toddler, Madison. Crystal is passionate about building authentic community – online and in real life – and has a heart for encouraging women. You can find her writing at crystalstine.me, MothersofDaughters.com, and she been featured at incourage.me, HolleyGerth.com, Allume.com, and HowTheyBlog.com. She would love to connect with you on Twitter at @crystalstine.
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YES. YES. YES! I always like to think of the things I do to make our home pleasant as a gift to those who enter.