Christmas is the season for stress. It’s the season for busyness. It’s filled with scurrying here and there from store to store, feverishly tracking deals, and obsessing over holiday meal plans. We dress up and go to the twelfth Christmas party of the year. We snag gifts, pack gifts, and wrap gifts, only to do it over and over again. We are filled to the max.
As someone with a retail job, a side-business, and a new marriage, I know just how quickly time can disappear from you. I’ve seen shoppers forget purchases because they’re determined to get to the next store. I’ve seen cars speeding in snow and ice to get to their destination. I’ve seen the sad look in my dog’s eyes when I’m too focused on my own checklist to play tug-o-war. The more I think about how crazy my schedule is, I realize how disconnected my life is becoming.
I’m sure you’ve felt it too. The holiday doesn’t nearly last as long as all the time spent preparing for it. Even when you take your time, there never seems to be enough to really share a heart to heart with someone. When you do, it’s over in a flash. We’re all busy bodies flying by one another, stopping only for a second.
Many people see the holidays as a time to mourn losses. Loneliness is the undertone. It’s hard to focus on gift giving and cooking – let alone community – when your heart is broken.
But how much more do we need the joy that comes with authentic relationship? How much more important is it to truly see people this Christmas?
“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – all while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.” Acts 2:44-47
It was in the slow moments of “sleeping in” until 9 with my husband I felt joy. It was in the laughable moments of talking with a good friend over the phone I felt community. It was in the full stomach of an early Christmas dinner with family I felt love. My heart swelled at the priceless little moments more than the number of things I scratched off my checklist.
Christmas is the season for relationship. It is the time to cherish the family and friends you do have. It is the time to extend joy and peace to someone remembering a lost loved one. It is the time to slow down. Take notice of all the blessings in this season. See goodness in the people around you. Reflect on why each person deserves more than a present resting under a tree. Give the ultimate, timeless gift of authentic relationship this year.
Featured image by Juniper Photo Co.