Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Comforts that Delight

Reading Psalm 94 today, I saw this verse: "In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul."

As the Christmas season approaches, all of us face a lot of anxiety. There is pressure to accomplish many tasks above and beyond our normal schedule. Stress can get to us and cause us to lose the focus of Christmas. The "multitude of anxiety" becomes real and overwhelming. What is the answer to combat this anxiety?

The comforts that delight our soul has to be centered around the "reason for the season", Jesus Christ. When our focus is centered on Christ, there are many comforts that can take place that ease the anxiety. Focus your attention on tasks that bring your family closer together (not farther apart). The activities that bring your family together as a unit do not have to be the result of a lot of work or effort, but will allow lasting memories to be created in the minds of each member.

Some suggestions:

Decorate the tree together as a family. Pop some popcorn, string cranberries on a string, allow the small children to put ornaments on the low branches while the adults decorate the top of the tree. Have Christmas carols in the background. When the tree is then finished, sing carols together, or read the Christmas story together.

Allow the children to be a part of your Christmas baking. They can roll out cookies, decorate them with creativity of their small imaginations. Grab the opportunity while waiting for the cookies to bake to let them know how special it is for them to be a part of this Christmas tradition.

Take the children to special Christmas programs in your area, such as "The Nutcracker", or the local mall Christmas programs, where there is singing or dancing, your church Christmas Eve program, or your children's school Christmas program. Allow these times to assure your children that your presence at these events is more important than office parties, or work-related pressures.

Take a walk or drive through the neighborhood to see all the lights and decorations of the houses in the neighborhood. You will delight in all the ooh's and aah's that you hear.

Have the children make special homemade cards, or crafty gifts, to give to older grandparents, or to take to nursing homes to cheer someone during the Christmas season. The children will learn how to give in a greater way, rather than be receivers at Christmas time.

There are a million other ideas that you could come up with to include all the family together as a unit, and to allow the focus to be Christ-centered, and yet not require tons of work or time. The important thing is to create memories that are lasting, and will be remembered for years to come. How often do we focus on the gifts that soon become forgotten and lie idle in a corner of the house.

Delight yourself in the Christmas spirit as a family!


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