Christmas is one of those funny things, isn’t it? It holds so much promise and idealism for focusing on what really matters, and yet it can so easily become a catalyst for becoming anxious over things that don’t.
So how can we be deliberate about what prioritising the genuinely valuable over the simply costly this Christmas season?
It’s not the blessing in itself that brings us joy. It’s in the thankfulness for blessings that their true delight lies.
Whether it is the presence of loved ones, beautiful surroundings, a bounty of food or a gift chosen with care, we can miss the delight of our blessings at Christmas if we are focused on other things and not positioning our heart for thankfulness.
Christmas is often a stressful time for many people, but especially for those who are struggling to make ends meet. Charities usually see needs and requests rise sharply around Christmas time. Too many people aren’t sure if there will be food on the table on Christmas Day, or even a roof over their head.
Put a local charity on your Christmas list this season. Find one that is working to relieve poverty in your local community, and help make sure no-one is facing an empty table this Christmas.
If you aren’t sure where to start, the Salvation Army does this kind of work in many countries – just google Salvation Army and your town to see if they operate near you. One charity I support in my local town of Brisbane is Nexus Care, a poverty alleviation organisation which has provided over 150,000 meals to people in need this year, and is running their Christmas appeal here.
Take Time to Be Kind
There’s just so much to DO at Christmas, isn’t there? It can be easy to become a little focused on our own to-do list and our own schedule. There’s no better time than Christmas, though, to remember to look up, look around, and look out for others.
A few years ago I started something called Random Acts of Christmas. The idea is to do 12 random acts of kindness on the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Little things like taking a box of chocolates and a thank you card to the local police station, or buying a coffee for the person in line behind me. People started to join in over the years, and it’s now year number five! If you want to get involved with #RAC, you can join in on Facebook, instagram or the website.
But whatever way you choose to spread some kindness, it’s not about making a busy season more complicated – it’s about looking for opportunities to add some kindness and community to people’s days, and remembering that it is more blessed to give than to receive.