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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tip #3 - Choose to focus more on relationships than on things

Christmas is about relationship. We are celebrating the gift of a Savior, Jesus, who came to save us from our sins. But ultimately, the purpose of Him leaving heaven and coming to earth was to win a bride for himself. Jesus came in order to have relationship with us, both now and forever. In order to have us, he had to take care of the sin, but an intimate relationship with you and me was the ultimate eternal plan of God in Christmas.

The Press of Things

It's very easy to get caught up in things during the holiday season. Gifts, both given and received. Food, both prepared and consumed. Decorations. Christmas cards. Lots and lots of things get our attention and time.

Not that there is anything inherently wrong with these things in and of themselves. They can be great sources of enjoyment and satisfaction. But these things can also be a source of stress and discontent if we allow them to take over. Things should always be subordinate to the people in our lives.

It's People That Matter Most

It's a week before Christmas Eve. Maybe you are feeling the press of things and all the doing that yet needs to be done. It's not too late to double-check your priorities and make sure that those closest to you are getting the focus they deserve. Chances are that what they want from you has more to do with you being present than giving presents.

What can you do in the days ahead to keep your relationships, and most especially your marriage, in proper focus?  Here are some ideas:
  • Set aside time to sit quietly with your spouse and talk. Talk about something other than what needs to be done before Christmas, like about your marriage and the things your are thankful for.
  • Bundle up and go outside for some fresh air and togetherness. Go for a walk or build a snowman together.
  • Engage in random acts of kindness. Send a note of encouragement to a friend via text, email or old fashioned letter. Buy a cup of hot cocoa for the guy who rings the Salvation Army bell at the local grocery store. Pay for the meal of the person behind you at a fast food restaurant drive through.
  • Find a charitable cause that serves people and give of your time or finances (a food bank, a nursing home, a homeless shelter, etc.).
  • As hard as it might be with all the busyness, have as many meals together as a family as you can in the week ahead of the big meal you'll likely be sharing on Christmas Day (or Eve).
  • Snuggle up with your spouse and watch a Christmas movie - let him or her pick.
  • Be intentional and generous with kind words and warm hugs for your family and those closest to you.
By encouraging you to focus more on your relationship than on things this Christmas, I'm certainly not trying to put more items on your to-do list. Rather, I'm suggesting that you consider scratching a few less important items from your list in order to make room for what really matters: people.

What will you do in the next week to focus on the relationships in your life? Leave a comment.

Want to catch up on the other Christmas Crazy posts in this series:


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