Prepare to Celebrate

There are only 5 more weekends before Christmas - isn't that crazy?!? I've talked with a variety of people about the upcoming Christmas season and the one theme I've picked up on - Christmastime is stressful. I was a little surprised to find out that when people think about Christmas, they picture crowded stores, economic strain, family tensions heightened, exhausting event schedules and on top of all that - GUILT, because they know that they should have better attitudes!

Maybe it's because of my relatively young age or stage in life, but I can honestly say that I anticipate Christmas with joy. I picture caroling with friends and drinking hot chocolate; shopping for gifts and carefully wrapping them - because I know they'll bring joy to the people I care about; and uplifting music and twinkling lights everywhere you go!

Approximately 700 years before Jesus' time, His birth was prophesied about in the book of Isaiah. The news of His birth offered light, hope and freedom to people living in a dark, hopeless and oppressed world. We celebrate Jesus' birth every year, because He continues to offer the same things.

Prepare your hearts to celebrate Christmas. I think the two best ways to do this are:
1. Make Jesus your first priority and spend time with Him.
2. Make others your second priority and spend time serving them.

Luke 10:27 He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

If you put these principles into action in your life, I think Christmas will be less stressful and more of a celebration!