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Thursday

5 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas

Christmas, Christ-focused Christmas, Jesus is the Reason
How do you focus on Christ at Christmastime? It’s important to be deliberate so the materialistic focus of our culture doesn't camouflage the meaning.

Our celebration includes a birthday cake for Jesus--a special time to light candles and express gratitude for Christ.

4 other ways to “stay focused”:
  • Pray for each gift-giver before opening gifts.
  • Buy gifts for the needy (there are many organizations that offer this opportunity—Salvation Army, Angel Trees, local churches).
  • Help serve a meal at the local rescue/homeless mission.
  • Read the Christmas story when everyone can focus on the wonder of it all! (For children, this usually isn't right before opening gifts).
It’s easy to get swept up in the busyness of Christmas and lose sight of the real meaning. We need to be deliberate…to have a plan.

Will you join me today in asking God to help us focus on the wonder of His birth this holiday season?

copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011
This is from the 2011 archive

Please leave comments with your ideas for staying focused on Christ at Christmas...I'd love to hear and so would other readers.

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Wednesday

Avoid the Holiday Blahs

holiday blahs, avoiding depression at Christmas, Biblical ways to avoid blahs
imagerymajestic: Free Digital Photos
According to the National Institute of Health, there is more depression and suicide during the Christmas holidays than other times of year. “One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season.”

Psychologists believe this is due to:
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Excessive self-reflection
  • Over spending
  • Anger about the holiday’s commercialization
  • Comparison to others who are “happier”
  • Difficult family relationships
  • Loneliness
 And they suggest we:
Although these suggestions come from secular authorities, they are all Scriptural (as noted). And they are good principles to follow even if we don't have a problem with the holiday blahs.

Why People Get Depressed at Christmas by Ray Williams
* This passage talks about self-control 
This devotion was first published 12-12

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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.