This time of year, many of us are talking about being more intentional about our Christmas celebrations. Sometimes we even talk about making them more sacred. We want to do the holiday “right” (whatever that means), we want it to be special, we want to keep the wonder in it. Most of all, we want it to point our kids to Jesus.
Related Post: How to Keep Christ in Your Family’s Christmas
But what does that mean, and how do we do it?
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Every year, I have grand intentions before the holidays hit. I have something of a vision in my head of what I want our family Christmas to look like. It’s not a clear picture, mind you, but I know I want it to be great. I don’t want to be stressed, I want to have fun, and I want to do all the things to teach my kids that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, not presents.
And every year, Christmas comes in a whirlwind, opportunities pass, and I’m flying by the seat of my pants. And every year, I feel like I’ve failed Christmas somehow.
And it has been a valuable resource for me, teaching me how to make not only Christmas but every holiday less chaotic and more sacred.
SACRED HOLIDAYS SUMMARY
From the back cover:
No more. It’s time to stop trying to survive the holidays or overindulge the whimsy, and instead live in the abundant life God called us to live.
Sacred Holidays is part book and part resource: meant to help you avoid what has tripped you up in the past and give you insights, tips, and tools to make your holidays less chaotic and more about loving Jesus and others
Sacred Holidays covers a lot more than just Christmas, although that is why I initially picked it up. It discusses New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Lent and Easter, Summer, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, and even birthdays!
And the final part of the book provides very helpful answers to common holiday struggles, such as budgets, conflict, and grief.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the combination of big-picture thinking and hands-on advice. I didn’t read through all the holiday chapters (I was mostly focused on Thanksgiving and Advent & Christmas), but the ones I did read were phenomenal.
The set-up of this book is perfect. I love how, before she dives into the nitty-gritty of each holiday, she spends some time inviting us to think deeply about what the holidays mean to us. We let go of past regrets, cast a vision and set goals for future celebrations, and also learn what it means to invite Jesus into each and every moment of our lives.
In fact, one of my favorite quotes of the entire book comes from these initial chapters:
What if the way you engaged a public event or holiday had the power to open people’s eyes to who Jesus is and how He works?
Wow. Isn’t that good??
I found the individual holiday chapters to be extremely helpful, as well. Each one is full of fun and meaningful ideas for celebration, and every person is sure to find something in her lists he/she can use in his/her own family.
My favorite thing about these chapters, however, is that she stresses, over and over, that we don’t have to do all. the. things to make the holidays special or sacred. And we don’t have to add a bunch of activities all at once. As she says, “You start in one place, and you pick one thing.”
Finally, the third part of the book, in which she tackles common struggles, is fantastic. For anyone who has ever found holidays to be more stressful than sacred and more wearisome than wonderful, these chapters will be such a help! My personal favorite was the one on setting realistic expectations, and it helped lift a tremendous load of frustration and guilt off my shoulders.
One final thing I want to mention is that this book is for everyone! It’s not just for moms, and it’s not just for families. She very intentionally writes so that anyone — single, married, old, young, kids, no kids — will get something out of this book.
If you’re like me, and you would like to make your holidays more meaningful but you’re just not sure how, I highly recommend this book. It will be a game-changer for you year ‘round!
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