“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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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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