How to Keep the CHEER in Christmas
I’ve pastored long enough to know the mood swings of the holidays: cheer, euphoria, laughter and loneliness, regret, and depression.
How can you prepare for the “swings of the season?” Try these six remedies:
1. Drop your division.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” America is deeply divided. Families and friendships are divided. TIME TO CHANGE.
Is the divide really important? If they were on their deathbed, would you refuse to go in and comfort them? Put it away. Ask forgiveness. Bridge the divide. “As much as lies within you, be at peace with all men.”
2. Think gratitude, not getting.
Everyone thinks of “getting” at Christmas. Do you really need another pair of socks? Actually, Christmas is about “gratitude.”
What has God given you this entire year? A new home? A new job or raise? A better car? A new baby? A clean bill of health? A happier marriage? A fabulous trip? BE HAPPY for all you have received, not what you didn’t receive.
3. Watch your “portions.”
Just face it. There’s a million calories around you at Christmas. The average American gains 8 pounds during this last month! The secret to staying holiday trim? “Portions.”
You can eat anything…if it is a small portion. “Portions” are where all the calories pile up. You don’t need two huge, heaping plates. Just one plate…with a little bit of everything!
4. Develop a plan.
A plan for the holidays. Plan each day so that you are not bored, lonely, unproductive. Develop at least one interesting, loving activity to do and then execute it.
A plan for January. Use this time to plan every day of your January. I try to spend 21 days in January to draw much closer to the Lord through prayer and fasting. Your whole year will be different!
A plan for the year. Decide what your weakest area is and plan to grow in that one big area for an entire year: marriage, finances, attitudes, time management, health, etc. PICK ONE.
5. Focus on friends.
Who have you wanted to spend more time with this year and it never happened? A lunch, a fishing trip, an evening together?
Don’t think about yourself…think about others. You have all year to think about yourself. Who do you know that really needs a friend right now?
6. Question everything.
What do I need to drop? Look back over the year of 2018. What wasted all of your time that produced no results?
What do I need to improve? You can’t change your whole life in a month. Pick the worst area and make it your project for 2019.
What do I need to focus on? Is there an area in my life that really produced great results that I should put my total focus on? The “Pareto Principle” says that 20% of your activity produces 80% of the results. FOCUS ON THAT.
Cheer up! Your next TWO WEEKS are going to be your most united, grateful, healthy, productive, friendly, and focused time of the year!