That beautiful time of the year Christmas is fast approaching which is already around the corner. It is a season where everything slows down, the world overflows with peace, joy, and love, and we can all relate to the concept of a silent night.
All too easily we get sucked into the Christmas chaos. We’re busy striving to create Instagram-worthy sweets, finding the perfect presents, and decorating our homes with Christmas lights and trees.
This season, let’s cast our pursuit of perfection to the side and get back to the heart of Christmas. To help inspire a Christ-centered holiday, here are six (6) ways to refocus on Jesus this Christmas season.
1. Seek Out Quiet Moments
The holiday season seems to ramp up November 1st and not stop until mid-January. It’s just one thing after another, always go, go, go.
That’s why it’s so important to seek out the quiet moments when you can. Maybe it’s taking five minutes in the evening to light a candle and relax. It could be waking up before your kids and sipping coffee by the light of the Christmas tree. Or maybe it’s even turning down the radio in your car and just sitting in silence.
No matter what time you carve out, use that quietness to focus your mind and your heart on Jesus. Ask him to draw near to you and for his everlasting peace to wash over you. It’s incredible how one quiet moment creates the opportunity to be more present during the rest of the day.
2. Make Time for Your Bible
Friends—this is one the best ways to refocus on Jesus, especially during the Christmas season.
If you’re new to the Bible-reading-practice, start with reading the Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20) every day. It’ll only take you a few minutes, and it’ll be a beautiful reminder of our Savior’s humble beginnings.
If you’re well versed in Bible reading, start doing some research on Scripture in the Old Testament that points to Jesus. You’d be amazed at all the ways you can find Jesus before he was even born! You’ll build anticipation for the celebration of Christ’s birth.
And honestly, if neither of those options sounds appealing, you can read anything in your Bible and still connect to Jesus. By just making Him a priority, you’ll begin to draw in closer to him and feel his presence throughout the day.
Bonus: Read your Bible by the Christmas tree to feel extra festive!
3. Ask for Jesus’ Advice
Often, we underestimate how much Jesus cares about our day-to-day lives. We think we can only come before Him in prayer with the really big, earth-shattering things.
But that’s not true! The Bible even tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray continually.”
This Christmas season, let’s make our days a continual conversation with Jesus. Ask Jesus for advice when you’re stressed about what to cook for Christmas dinner. Ask Jesus to help you find the perfect gift for your spouse. Ask Jesus for peace when you’re up to your eyeballs in holiday stress. This allows you to remain focused on Jesus amidst the Christmas chaos.
One of the absolute best ways to connect with Jesus is to serve others in your community. You could volunteer by collecting donations for a local outreach organization. Maybe you could distribute food at a food pantry. You could even volunteer at a nursing home, just spending time with the residents.
Another great way to connect to the heart of Jesus is through random acts of kindness. Pick up the dinner bill of a single mom at the table next to you. Anonymously leave a gift on the doorstep of the elderly couple down the street. Or maybe donate gloves to an elementary school for kids who don’t have cold weather clothes.
Christmas can be stressful for a lot of reasons, with unending to-do lists, family dynamics, and bills piling up. One of the best ways to take back your peace and focus on Jesus is to spend time in prayer.
Now, I know this can seem awkward to talk with God if prayer isn’t currently a daily habit. Here’s a quick prayer exercise to help.
First, write down everything that is currently stressing you out. Remember: nothing is too small! Then imagine yourself handing each of those things over to Jesus, one at a time. When you’ve handed them over, you can’t get that worry back. Jesus is now carrying it.
Once you’ve given over all those stressors, take a deep breath and ask Jesus to remain in focus for the rest of the day.
6. Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
We can learn a lot from the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10. In case you’re unfamiliar, the gist is that Martha is busy running around being the perfect hostess and slaving over a hot stove while Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus, basking in his presence. Martha, like any of us, thought this was unfair and Jesus kindly reminds Martha that Mary is focusing on what matters—Him!
All this to say, let’s work on being like Mary—not Martha— this Christmas season. Let’s put aside our fancy dinners, our perfectly wrapped presents, and our meticulous homes to be intentional about spending time with those we care about most. In this way, we’ll be connecting with the heart of Jesus.