Kelly DeChant is one of the most joy-filled women I know. I asked her to share her take on what brings the most joy at Christmas in this Holiday UPGRADE.
“Christmas Joy—is it what you give or what you spend?” Kelly asks. “Think about it . . . is it what you GIVE or what you SPEND?”
Christians would likely answer, “what I give,” but I (Dawn) think that’s still not the best answer, as Kelly points out so clearly.
She continues . . .
As you meandered down the aisle at Costco, making your way to the pumpkin pie counter for your fall dessert choice (mid-October), what came over you when you saw the nicely manicured Christmas trees adorned with every color bulb imaginable?
Did you succumb to a numbing effect—ice running through your veins at the very sight of the trees? Did you immediately check you Smart Phone calendar to verify the date? It just couldn’t possibly be that time yet!
Were you overcome with sheer panic of the thought that Christmas was in fact only 75 days away and you were counting at a warp speed?
To fight off the anxiety, did you grab the nearest spoon to politely (of course) begin shoveling spoonfuls of the delightful pumpkin pie into your mouth?
Oh yes, it has happened to us all. And once you have recovered from the initial shock, the truth of it all sets in. What are you to do?
You can commit to spending money on things that people will rarely acknowledge as valuable, or you can rethink your entire Christmas season strategy. I challenge you to sit with a nice cup of peppermint tea and gain complete and total perspective.
It all begins in the way you think. To change your behavior, you have to change the way you think. Let’s begin with “The Reason for the Season.” Simply put, it’s Jesus. He is the reason we celebrate.
How will you keep Him center stage in your Christmas? He is where our true JOY will be found.
I think of it like this: JOY = Jesus Occupying You
Yes, occupying—occupying your thoughts, your actions, your spending and your giving.
This is His party, and He wants us to celebrate Him. We do this by keeping Him first in our giving. As we spend time with family and friends, we are giving of ourselves. It’s not about the gift giving, but rather the life living. That is the greatest gift we can give Jesus this birthday.
How do we celebrate? Is it the Hallmark Christmas movies that tug at your heart to get you in the Christmas spirit . . . or is it the reading of His birth announcement in Luke 2 that sends heart-throbbing joy into your soul?
Think about that journey taken by Jesus’ earthly parents to bring this child to us.
“For unto us a Child is born. . . .” He was born to be our Savior, and there is no greater gift ever given.
Throughout the season, read each day from the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—their difference renditions of that precious time in history. It will bring a newness to your Christmas season and you will keep Him at the center.
Remember: Jesus Occupying You! That’s Christmas Joy, not what you give or spend.
What are you doing this December to refresh the wonder of Christmas joy in your heart?
Kelly DeChant, a wife, mother and Grammy, enlists herself as a Disciple of the Risen King. She is passionate about sharing the Gospel to everyone she encounters, and she does so with great joy!
Graphic #1 adapted from layoutsparks.com. Graphic #2, Costco Insider. Graphic #3, adapted, Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.