This holiday season, drop the stress and take a moment to appreciate the little things. Remember that the reason for the occasion is to give thanks and glorify Father God. Make a list of things you are grateful for in life—the people who have opened doors for you, the opportunities you have had, the interests in which you have invested. As you look at these matters, ponder them in your heart and keep them in mind as you prepare for the day. Be aware of how your thoughts and words affect your actions and reflect on what you are celebrating. By keeping your focus on being thankful, you can enjoy the festivities as part of your blessings rather than something to be stressed over.
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
- 2 Corinthians 4:15 NKJV
One of the best gifts I received before my wedding was a reminder that the day was about getting married. At the end of it all, no matter what else happened, I would be married when the day was all over. This knowledge allowed me to approach the day with ease, knowing that nothing would interfere with the reason for the occasion. The trimmings and the party were extras there to be enjoyed rather than stressed over. I believe we can similarly approach the holidays. During the holiday season, keep your focus on the real reason for the celebration. As long as you glorify God, you have achieved the goal and the season is successful.
To glorify God means to value Him above all things. If we only have our relationship with Him, we have everything. Yet, there is so much more we receive from Him for which we should be grateful. Gratefulness does not mean just being happy with what you already have. It means noticing and enjoying details. When you discern small matters, they can make a big difference in your outlook. Everyday experiences can start to feel like a holiday when you are grateful for the little things. Recognizing good things as gifts makes you feel more deserving of each one of them. Then those kinds of provisions will keep coming your way. Plan to move forward with this discernment and gratefulness in mind.
Take time ahead of the holiday for reflection and gratitude on what will allow you to fully enjoy the day while showing your appreciation to Father God for all of His blessings. Make a list of the things that you want to include to celebrate the day. Plan so that you are stress-free on the day of the celebration. Know what you’re going to prepare, what you’re going to wear, and create a timeline to make it all happen. Accept the help of others when they offer. Remember, part of fellowshipping is doing things together, so think ahead for ideas of how someone could help you and have an answer prepared when they ask.
Throughout the planning process and during the actual celebration, be mindful of the quality of your thoughts. You can give thanks and praise without having to please everyone, without having a spotless house, and without preparing a perfect meal. So keep your self-talk positive and give yourself the same grace you would give to your closest friend. When the day arrives, be grateful for what you have at the moment. Enjoy those with whom you fellowship and what you eat, drink, and wear. Give God the glory, and decide to savor every moment!