This Christmas marks my 27th year of finding the perfect gift to unwrap on Christmas morning. Of course, like you, my heart has always been to keep Jesus the reason for the season. At times, the expectations of the holiday have threatened to steal my joy. Oh, it’s not the expectations of my family that bring the anxiety. It’s a self-inflicted pressure to truly bless my family with a quality gift that brings joy and lasts for more than just a day.
If you’re like me, you’re wanting to bless your family with the best gift ever as we remember the greatest gift of all time. So here’s a list of Christmas gifts that will last a lifetime! In fact, these gifts can seem so basic that we forget to remember that they truly are the greatest gifts, the foundation for which we can remember that precious baby Jesus!
~A Peaceful, Hope-Filled Home: For many, a home is the center of all the celebration. Even if you spend Christmas morning at another home, day in and day out, all through December, our home is the “base camp” for the holiday season. Our home can even be the life-bridge to someone in need. And this is the very place where the enemy attacks. Many times, responsibility falls on the very one trying to create such wonderful memories. Stress, holiday cooking, expectations and fatigue can steal the very peace we’re striving to maintain. By far, a peaceful, hope-filled home will be one of your family’s favorite memories! You have the privilege to bring peace into the most stressed-filled moment as you provide a safe haven for all who enter your home!
~A Peaceful Marriage: Maybe you feel like a load of bricks was just dropped on your shoulders. So many dynamics happen during the month of December and many times, our marriage takes the brunt of the stress. Being around family members you rarely see, strained financial pressure and missed expectations can lead to strife and conflict in the core of our home…our marriage! In fact, statistics tell us that the word “divorce” is often the most searched word on the internet with the idea that once we get through the holidays, we can find peace. But peace will never come as we walk away from oneness. Rather adding more tools to our tool belt of healthy communication offers the hope we desperately need for peace in our marriage. This holiday season, take the time to slow down and practice some self-heart care. Seek the Lord as He defines your identity. Then ask the Lord to give you a heart of peace and love as you communicate with your husband. You might be surprised to see what small steps taken this month can make a huge impact on the next. A peaceful marriage is the starting point to a peaceful, hope-filled home.
~A Contented Mother: If you’re like me, my heart doesn’t really hunger for things under the tree, at least not for me. My temptation comes in wanting to give my children, husband and family the absolute best. The pressure comes in meeting expectations and even more, my own expectation of wanting to see joy-filled, happy faces. But a present under the tree will never be the gift that lasts! A mother content in the Greatest Gift of all time, that baby Jesus, is content with whatever provision He gives. A heart that rests in the Lord knows that as she seeks first His Kingdom, He will provide for her family’s needs. He is faithful provider! Find rest in Him this CHRISTmas.
~A Contagious, Joy-Filled Woman: The greatest gift a woman can have during the holidays is an overflowing joyful spirit! No matter our circumstance or how another reacts, we can choose joy! For some, circumstances surrounding the holiday season can be harsh. Perhaps, grieving a loved-one, a recent health crisis or even family strained relations can leave the holiday season with a covering of a hopeless gloom. Joy finds rest, peace and hope even amidst the most dire circumstance knowing the best truly is yet to come! Because that baby Jesus came, we have eternity to celebrate! Against the backdrop of hard days, be the refreshing memory of a joy-filled woman! But be careful, a joy-filled heart is contagious! You may just partner with God to bring joy and hope to a heart in need!
~A Heart-Connected Mother and Wife: So many times, we fall into the trap that a holiday full of crafts, a Pinterest worthy home & tons of family-busy memories will be the lasting memories of happiness to our children. But many times, our family would rather us slow down, play a game, bake some cookies or share a special heart-connected talk over coffee/tea. Busy shopping trips and large wrapping sessions might seem the best use of our time but less gifts and more heart-connection is truly a desired gift! A temptation to work overtime to provide for that special, desired gift may bring the temporary Christmas morning high but will quickly fade away. Take the time to slow down and really listen to those that you love! Gift the gift of relationship this year! It may just be their favorite Christmas ever!
~A Heart that Ponders: All too soon, 2018 will pass away and the demands of 2019 will blaze a new journey! There is a day coming for reflection and vision for the days to come. I’m excited to share what God has been laying on our heart in this regard. But today, don’t forget to ponder! Begin each day reflecting on the our Lord and Savior Jesus so our eyes can wipe away the earthly pressure and usher in the eternal. Store up in your heart the way that your family looks, acts and smiles. Set aside the busy and embrace God’s gift for us this season. That baby really did come and it changed EVERYTHING!
I pray that this holiday season is the best one ever as you give your family the gifts that truly last a lifetime! Merry CHRISTmas!