By: Kris Dolberry– Christmas is quickly approaching. It is without question the most-anticipated Holiday for the average American. But for many, it is far from the most wonderful time of year. We hype it and bill it as though it will bring us ultimate happiness- that your family will laugh and feast and celebrate while ripping open gifts and snapping pictures as the kids shout for joy. Sure Christmas is fun. But what happens when the meal has been eaten, presents opened, and decorations put away? Psychologists call it the Christmas blues. I call it the Christmas crash. Here are 4…. ahem, F words that will help you avoid it:
The traditions of the Christmas holidays are awesome. I love them as much as anyone. They are a good gift. But they make a terrible savior. If we bill Christmas as the ultimate joy giver, we will without-a-doubt be disappointed. When we view Christmas that way, it’s like seeing a million dollars in the mirror and being disappointed that the reflection can’t actually buy a single thing. Men, we must focus our families on the savior to whom the holiday points.
A few years ago, I got lambasted by an old friend on Facebook for using the word “Xmas” instead of “Christmas”. What she didn’t know was the X in Xmas is actually an the Greek letter kai which is an abbreviation for Christ. Using X in place of Christ is the same as saying JC instead of Jesus Christ. Though she misunderstood what I was doing, she made a good point- Don’t miss Christ in Christmas. Even well-meaning Christians can get so busy with parties, decorations, gifts, and meals, that we forsake taking time to breathe in the good news of Christ that God became one of us to save us from our sin.
Some of you, this will be the first Christmas where someone who once gathered around your tree will not be there. I can’t imagine how difficult this season will be for you. I know that you would tell those of us who will gather with our families during the holidays to cherish every moment- to drink deeply of the love you have for each other because one day someone won’t be there. This Christmas, make a special intentional effort to honor, celebrate, and cherish your family (and tell them you are doing so.)
One of my favorite holiday traditions during the week between Christmas and the new year is to pause and focus my priorities for the new year. I examine 5 areas of my life and set goals for each. They are: spiritual, vocational, physical, relational, and personal (self improvement). I determine what my plan for exercise will be, what I will do to invest in my friends, how I will focus on my marriage, how many books I want to read, etc. If you’re interested in finding out more about this idea, Michael Hyatt has some great tools that are sure to help.
Kris Dolberry is a pastor, speaker, writer, and trainer of leaders. After serving in pastoral leadership for 17 years, Kris now leads Ministry to Men at LifeWay and serves as Executive Editor of Stand Firm, a daily devotional magazine for men. Kris is husband to Vanessa and dad to Konnor, Emma, and Brady. They live outside Nashville, Tennessee.