Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What About The Night(s) After Christmas?

It's always amazing, isn't it, how long we anticipate the arrival of Christmas Day and yet how quickly it's here and gone. The gifts have been opened, the relatives are back home and the lights and decoration seem to have lost their luster. We're now ready for it all to be put away. Even some post-Christmas shopping isn't quite as fun or exciting.

Maybe that's why we try to crank ourselves up again for New Year's with all of its hopefulness, optimism and accompanying celebration.

But I wonder if we don't give what took place during the Christmas season enough credit and too easily lay aside its challenges, inspiration and impetus for real change and new direction. Rather than hope that some less than helpful New Year's resolutions will turn our lives around, we could still consider some of the good things that remain from Christmas.

For example, don't forget the family times. Hopefully this season you slowed down here and there, took a moment or two, even part of a day, to just enjoy each other without a clock, agenda, deadline or trip in the car. You laughed, told stories and played. Why can't there be more of that the rest of the year? There can. Figure out one or two ways you can allow that kind of time back into your home.

Or, embrace more of the important things all year:  Jesus, salvation, loving others, giving to those with needs and hope. So often these profound, life-changing, long-lasting truths and concepts get lost in our penchant for hurrying and accomplishing. We may care about our faith but so often we don't practically live it. What if this year we all were much more intentional about the things that mattered most, like those we were reminded of and even did again this year?

And don't lose the power of a gift. No, I'm not talking about going into debt for a bunch of things that will be forgotten or put away within days or weeks or gifts given just because that's what everyone does in the family and they're expected.

No, remember more what you felt when you received that unexpected or handmade or especially meaningful gift that clearly had a message of love and care behind it. We can give those gifts the rest of the year too. They may not even be wrapped up but they come in the form of a kind word, a thank you, a gesture that says I'm still thinking about you. They can be tangible too like a note, flower or some other especially loved item that says to someone that they still matter to you.

While the night before Christmas almost always exudes anticipation and delight, the nights (and days) after will tell us if Christmas was really the time of peace and joy it was intended to be. Let your Christmas last this year. It's really up to you.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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