(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Prepare For Christmas
By Zelda Dominguez
Is it just me, or hasn’t this year been a succession of unexpected, disastrous events? Terrorist attacks, hurricanes and floods, riots, shootings, earthquakes and fires?
How do you handle these global events or even unexpected life issues? We can’t seem to get away from hearing what’s happening in the world, constantly watching it on the news and seeing videos or live accounts on social media. There is no doubt about the effect that this type of exposure may have on the community. Research generally finds an association between watching media coverage of traumatic events and stress symptoms.
In a national survey of U.S. adults, three to five days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks people reported watching an average of eight hours of television related to the attacks. Those who watched the most coverage had more substantial stress reactions than those who watched less television coverage
Whether the media is just reporting news to inform us, or sensationalizing upon it creating an addictive lure for ratings, we clearing clearly (in my opinion) focus on it too much. Why is that? Is it fear? Or is it a seductive appeal we can’t say no to?
“Men will faint from fear and anxiety over what is coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
– Luke 21:26
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.”
– Luke 21:34
Numbing ourselves with alcohol, partying, or drugs isn’t the answer.
I want to switch the tone for a minute and refer to an old popular Christmas song of the same title as this article. It originated from the Broadway musical, Mame. I didn’t really know that, nor did I know what the song was about till it came to me one day, as I started to sing, “We need a little Christmas now.” I have been going through a personal issue and the thought of Christmas brings me joy. I found out the song is performed in the play after Mame has lost her fortune in the stock market crash of 1929, and decides that she, her young nephew Patrick, and her two household servants need a little Christmas to cheer them up. Here are part of the lyrics to the song:
Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas Right this very minute, Candles in the
Window, Carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas.
Slice up the fruitcake;
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.
For we need a little music,
Need a little laughter,
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter,
And we need a little snappy
“Happy ever after,”
Need a little Christmas now.
Need a little Christmas now.
In the midst of their adversity, they chose to focus on the Spirit of Christmas. Now, stay with me. As believers, we celebrate the birth of Jesus as the reason for the season, right? But yet we get caught up in the materialism of the holiday. Or because of the current circumstances, you may not feel like even thinking about Christmas. The thought of decorating or shopping makes you more tired than you already are. I’m not trying to trivialize things. I’m just not talking about shopping.
The word Mas in Spanish means more. So what I’m saying right now, we need Christ–Mas, more Christ! We need Him in our lives through a personal relationship with Jesus.
Especially in the midst of all our cares, life issues and world events. Not just thinking of Baby Jesus on December 25th, but we need more of Christ in our lives all year long.
“So when all these things begin to happen stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”
– Luke 21:28
We must look to Jesus, our Savior and deliverer! He’s with us through the storms of life; He calms our hearts, gives us Peace, restores our joy, He heals our wounds.
Trust in God’s Word. Our view of God is too small- that his power and His wisdom can’t even be imagined. Learn of Him and hold fast to HIS promises. Worry interferes with the effectiveness of God’s word in our lives. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. We are assured that the eyes of the Lord are on us and His ears are attentive to their prayer (1 Peter 3 :12).
In Matthew, He promises never to leave us. And where two or more come together in my name, there am I with them. Cling to these truths.
Turn your cares into prayers. In James it says, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Have faith with God even when nothing is happening—something is happening. Establish your foundation not on your emotions, but on the authority of His Word.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
– 1 Peter 5:7
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.”
– Psalms 40-41
When we fear, it is because we do not realize how much Jesus loves us. Fear is a symptom of unbelief. What are you anxious about today? What do you fear? What worries you? Would you be willing to hand those over to God right now?
Start today focusing on Christ-mas…more Christ. As you enter into the holidays, don’t leave Him out. Whether you start now listening to Christmas music, or start to put up the lights and a tree, it doesn’t matter when you do it, or how you do it, but why you do it. Celebrate Him every day!