Christmas is only three days away, and with the work you are trying to get done before the Christmas break, the gift-buying you still have to do or with preparing for the upcoming Christmas travel to be with friends or family, you may feel Christmas is about to slip past without you having engaged the Christmas spirit.
I fight this every year for all the reasons I just mentioned, but I’ve also learned a few tricks that help me step out of the powerful current of holiday busyness and commercialism to a quiet place on the shore.
Here are three things I do to make sure I don’t miss the true spirit and celebration of Christmas:
1. Read. I read the real Christmas story, you know, the one found in Matthew 1:18-2:12 and Luke 1:5 -2:21, and I don’t just read, I go Denny Crane on it, as I’ve described here before. When I do this, it seems each year I see something I’ve never seen before that makes the Christmas celebration that much more significant.
2. Watch. I watch Christmas movies that best capture the true spirit of Christmas, not the watered down, made-for-television Hallmark Hall of Fame feel-good Christmas miracle movies–not that there is anything wrong with those–but I’m talking about the hard-core ones that don’t compromise the Christmas message out of fear of offending non-Christians. My three staples, which I’ve highlighted here a few weeks ago, are A Christmas Carol (the 1951 or 1938 version will do), The Bishop’s Wife (the 1947 version with Cary Grant) and It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).
3. Pray. I try to make sure I spend time in prayer (which ironically seems more difficult during the holidays when I’m out of my routine). There is nothing more effective in helping me engage the true spirit and celebration of Christmas than spending time with the One for whom the season exists.
Anyway, this is what I do, and it seems to work for me. What do you do to find the Christmas spirit?