Christmas is right around the corner. This time of year, many people feel the need to make sure they are focusing on Jesus more than ever. Here are 10 ways that you can focus on Jesus during Christmas:
1) Make it about Him
While this may seem like an obvious one, it's often ignored by many Christians. Instead of focusing on what gifts to get for your Dad or which family member you haven't seen in a few years, focus on the real reason for this time of year.
2) Before Christmas Eve service, take some time to reflect on how much God has done throughout the year. Maybe go over all of the good things that happened and thank Him for each one. See if you can do it without mentioning you or anyone else at any point (this is difficult). This will make your praise even more meaningful.
3) Go see your family before having dinner with them; realize this may not be possible because you live far away from one another. If this is the case, call up an older relative and ask them about their childhoods and talk to them about what they are looking forward to most during Christmas.
4) Give gifts that will help people become more like Jesus. If you know someone who has been struggling with saying thank you, make sure their gift comes with a card containing an encouraging message. Something as simple as this can make all the difference in someone's day.
5) Don't give up on your family members. Yes, they may be hard to deal with at times but it is important to love them unconditionally because that is what God does for us. Even if they are not yet saved, pray for them every single day and then follow it up with action. Trust me, there have been many times when I've prayed for my dad and I've been amazed at how God has worked in his life.
6) After you finish your Christmas shopping, take a few minutes to pray for the people that you bought gifts for. It's important to remember that this time of year is not only about us celebrating but it is also a time when we can honor others through giving them gifts.
7) Call someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas and ask them if they will be alone during this time. If they say yes, invite them over. This way you'll get the best of both worlds: spending some quiet time with Jesus while helping out a friend.
8) When receiving gifts from others, try to think about the cost that was put into getting each gift for you. Then thank God for the gifts and be grateful just as you would if you were thanking someone for a gift.
9) Whenever your family is together, think about how Jesus wants to be part of each and every one of us. Try to focus on all of the good things that will happen throughout each day: like playing video games or having a snowball fight.
10) On Christmas Day, try and avoid looking at presents (this might be hard because kids love to open their gifts). Instead, read something from the Bible. I bet if most adults spent more time reading the Bible instead of watching TV shows then they would feel like they've already had plenty of entertainment that day.
While this list may seem simplistic, it can be easy to forget these things when you are constantly bombarded with advertising during this time of year. Once again, remember the true meaning of Christmas and how we should focus on Jesus more than anything else.
Closing thoughts: Making a list like this is important because it will help people realize that there is no rule saying they need to buy presents for everyone in their family using hundreds or even thousands of dollars. There is nothing wrong with getting gifts for your loved ones but many times we go overboard and get them items they don't want/need simply because we can afford it. Always remember that money doesn't buy love ; it just buys something that someone else might enjoy for a little while. Don't be that person who buys expensive gifts just to buy expensive gifts. Focus on buying meaningful presents like one of the items listed above. Be creative and make the best out of each Christmas time because what you focus on will become part of who you are, both during Christmas and throughout the rest of your life.