It’s been said for years, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” Most of us will gather with family and friends this Christmas season. Some of us will do so out of a sense of obligation and others will look forward to gathering near. Someone reading this now is dreading their family gathering, but I hope you’ll keep reading. I would like to share with you four things we should all keep in mind as we come together with family this Christmas. .
#1 BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE FAMILY
On Christmas day places across the country will be filled by those who feel they have no one to celebrate with this year. The feeling of loneliness and abandonment will lead many to feel very depressed. Crazy or not, if you had no family to gather you too would feel abandoned, lonely, and more than likely depressed. If you have two or more family members that you will celebrate this Christmas with thank God for that blessing.
#2 MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME TOGETHER
This is true about many things in life, “It’s all what you make of it.” Yes, some may be loud, obnoxious, boastful, bossy, ungrateful, and completely self-centered. Guess what? You don’t have to join them. Bring with you love, gratefulness, peace, joy, and good news. Bad attitudes are contagious so fight the urge to join in the negativity party. Christmas is all about peace, love, and joy. Do your part to bring life, love, and laughter as you meet together with those family members you don’t get to see very often.
#3 TREAT IT LIKE IT COULD BE YOUR LAST
My heart breaks as I see families torn apart daily. My heart also breaks as I know personally of several people who will for certain be spending their last Christmas here on earth. Those families will wake up Christmas morning just thankful for one more breath and time together. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. And, for sure none of us know who might never gather around the family table again. When you come together this year treat it like it might be your last. Give everyone a hug, tell everyone you love them, and be thankful for everyone’s presence. I promise you will miss your loved one when they are gone even if you haven’t always gotten along.
#4 REMEMBER IT’S NOT YOUR PARTY
Amidst the ribbons and bows, boxes, and gifts it is real easy to forget who we are really celebrating. The only reason this Christmas Day exists is to remember the birth of little boy named Jesus. When this child was born hope entered the world. Over two thousand years ago, God gave us all the greatest gift we could ever receive. John 3:16 say, “For God so love the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” On Christmas Eve, our family lights a baby Jesus cake, reads the Christmas story, and takes time to remember the real reason for the season. I hope you and your family will join us in remembering it’s not our party. We are just blessed to be invited!