The Christmas Struggle

The Christmas Struggle

     The Christmas Struggle

Ahh, the wonders of Christmas:
  • Twinkling lights.
  • Fragrant wreaths.
  • Luscious treats.
  • Good friends.
  • Wonderful relatives….and perhaps some not so wonderful relatives.

Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without those “not so” wonderful relatives.

Don’t be coy, you know the ones.

They  try your patience and fray your nerves.
As you send out your Christmas cards, maybe you ask yourself:
“Will my dad be drunk again?
Will my aunt be in one of her moods?
Will my mom be speaking to me this Christmas?
What crisis will the drama-queen be complaining and complaining and complaining about this time?”
Or maybe your wondering why you have to spend Christmas alone–again.

Most of us are not aiming for a perfect Christmas; just wrestling  with the challenge  to keep  the peace amongst a myriad of personalities?

The emotional bank account isn’t the only account that gets drained this time of year.

Selecting a gift that communicates your love or satisfies your “I gotta get them something” criteria without breaking your dwindling bank account is a challenge as well. Bargain shopping eases the stress, but gift selection is still challenging. In a culture that breeds narcissism, how do you select an appropriate gift?

Christmas can be challenging

I understand most of us don’t live in a perfect family with a perfect budget. I understand and have compassion for people approaching a problematic Christmas.

Receive and revel in His gift of love.

I want to remind you to open God’s gift of Love.
It’s not enough to have a gift; it must be opened and used to be enjoyed.
Revel in the truth that you are loved and chosen by God. Listen to music that communicates God’s love and return His love with worship.
When you really know how much God loves you, what other people think doesn’t matter.

Bathe all your attitudes in the reality that God loves you and you are special to Him.

Then out of that love, give love. That’s what every person on your gift list needs and wants the most.

Put giving love first on your “To Give List.”

     Still, maybe you ask the same question I ask, “How do I  express the genuine unconditional love that was wrapped in swaddling clothes that first Christmas morning?”

First, understand, God knew everyone would not receive His gift, but He gave it anyway.

Yet, when He wrapped His gift in humanity, it became accessible to anyone–the poor and the rich; the young and the old; anyone that would receive Him. Understand everyone will not receive your gift of love, but give it anyway.

Ask God to show you how to love, in a practical way, the hard to love people on you list.

Ask God to bring His peace into their life and theirs.

Then refuse to allow your emotions to drive your actions.

Act out your love, like you would love an easy person to love or in the way God directs you to express your love.

Make the choice to love, because you are loved.

Then leave the results with God.