The Secret to a Stress-Free Christmas

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2: 9-14 KJV

I’ve been thinking a lot this month about the birth of Christ. Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem was long and hard. They weren’t greeted there with joyful anticipation of the eminent arrival of the Messiah. Instead, they were turned away from the inn and sent to a stable or cave. There, in plainness among the animals, Christ was born. There was no grand celebration. In fact, it would be many years before His birth was celebrated around the world as a holiday. The birth of Christ was simple.

The second chapter of Luke presents not an earthly celebration, but a heavenly one. An angel of the Lord appears to the shepherds and describes Christ’s birth as “good news of great joy for all people.” Then suddenly, a crowd of angels appears praising God.

Praising God. Those two words in Luke 2:13 teach us how to celebrate Christmas. We are to praise God for His gift to us – the gift of eternal life through the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is the busiest week of the year. Our lives are filled with holiday preparations: planning, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, sending cards, decorating and cleaning our houses; the list is endless. Yet, God requires none of these things from us. He wants us to celebrate the birth of Christ simply by praising Him, by offering thanksgiving to Him for the gift of Jesus.

The birth of Christ was simple, and so is the secret to a joyful Christmas: Praise God.

This Christmas I wish you, my readers, a simple stress-free holiday spent remembering the birth of Christ and giving praise to God.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

I loved this post. Your thoughts bring us back to the simplicity of Christmas.

I keep hearing a song title or blog post or short story rolling around my mind: "Just Say Thanks." Maybe a songwriter out there will write something to go along with it. :)


quietspirit said...

We are simplifying our Christmas a bit more each year. I prefer as little stress as possible. Thanks for sharing this with us.


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By Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado has a unique way with words, and his children's book Hermie A Common Caterpillar is no exception. With simple text and bright, watercolor illustrations, the story of Hermie unfolds.

Hermie wonders why he looks and feels so common. Whenever he asks God why, God simply answers, "I'm not finished with you yet." Then, one day, Hermie feels very tired. He gets into his cozy, leafy bed, and he sleeps. And while Hermie sleeps a transformation takes place. When he wakes up, Hermie discovers that God has done something grand. You can guess what it is. Every caterpillar that lives to adulthood knows the end of the story.

Parents, please share this book and its powerful message with your children. We are all special because God loves us, and He has a unique purpose for our lives. Whenever we slump into feeling ordinary, we know that we have hope because . . .God isn't finished with us yet!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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