I am a list person. If I have a lot of things to do, or things to remember, I will make a list. For me there is something satisfying about checking a box, or crossing off a task on my list. It means you are one step closer, one less thing to do, one less thing to worry about forgetting. The goal of my life focusing around finishing everything on the list, so I can move onto something else. So what is on your Holiday checklist? It might include shopping for food or presents, stuffing stockings, visiting family, or putting up decorations.
Let’s be clear I have no issue with lists, I even find them helpful as I said before, but I have one caution with lists. Often our goal with a list is to complete it and move on. Our prime objective is finishing the list. If you are not careful, that is exactly what your Holiday season will feel like, a number of things to complete as quickly as possible, and then move on. It’s an already busy time of year, and we say to ourselves if we could just get to January, and make it through the busyness of the holidays. If you are not careful, you will be so focused on checking all the boxes, on making it to January; you will miss the joy of the Holidays. Church will become just one more stop on the Christmas circuit, and the power of God sending his son Jesus to Bethlehem, will go right over your head as you focus on getting to Grandma’s before the Turkey is carved. Instead of taking in the conversations with relatives that you only see around the Holidays, your mind will be mapping out who can drive your child to karate on December 27th.
Christmas is meant to be a powerful and wonderful time of year. It’s time to stop and reflect on the wonder of God sending His son to the earth. It can be a time to celebrate with family and loved ones, and to thank God for those relationships in our lives. It’s a season to offer one another gifts as a reflection of our love and gratitude, remembering that God gave us the ultimate gift in this season. It’s your choice what the next week is going to be like. Is it a list filled with check boxes that you are going to check off as quickly as possible on the way to January? Or might this be a meaningful time to reflect on God sending His son, engage deeply in conversation with family and loved ones, and be thankful for all that God has already given to you? It’s your choice, check list, or a meaningful experience?