10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
I love to “stretch out” my birthday! You know, our birthdays are only one day out of 365, and I believe everyone should be celebrated big on that one day. So it’s fun to stretch out the celebrations when a friend offers to take you to lunch the week after. Or we have to celebrate our birthdays early to accommodate everyone’s schedules. I have been known to stretch mine out, happily, for a month! It’s just plain fun to be celebrated and to celebrate others.
So my idea this year is to stretch out Christmas! It really is the most wonderful time of the year for most of us. And even those of us who lament the holiday season because of missing loved ones, can see that in general, people around us are more joyful, festive, and giving. So let’s stretch out the Christmas spirit and celebrate Jesus all year long!
Here are some ways to do this!
- My favorite is to sneak in a Christmas song here and there. For me, any time I hear a Christmas song, I immediately begin to feel joyful and peaceful. So play a Christmas tune once a month just for fun!
- Give a random gift to someone for no reason. Oh, you can know it’s secretly a Christmas gift in July, but you don’t have to tell the recipient.
- Think of the person who is always giving of themselves and take them to lunch or dinner or coffee. Let them know how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness and let them know they remind you of the Christ-like giving spirit.
- Wrap a present now for your family or a loved one that can only be opened in a few months or on a specific date. It can be something small. Leave a note in it that says, this is to remind you of the greatest gift of Jesus Christ.
- Set a calendar reminder once-a-month to celebrate and give thanks for the gift of Immanuel, God with us. You can do this alone in your prayer time, or with your family or friends.
Who says the Christmas spirit has to end on December 26? The gift of Jesus is the gift of life! Let’s keep this joyful celebration of life going all year long!
Dear Lord, Don’t let me become so familiar with the Christmas story that it doesn’t still move me to worship and praise. Remind me to treasure the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Help me to be more than just a spectator to the birth of Christ, and allow me to participate with you in your story! Guide me to share in the awe and wonder of the nativity and let me worship Christ at his holy manger today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.