3 Tips to Avoid the Christmas Crash

Anastasis Faith

      We’ve been building up for the past several months for Christmas. It reached a crescendo the first moment of Christmas morning. My siblings came running, flicked on the light, and shouted, “Wake up! Wake up! It’s Christmas!!”
      You open the stockings, eat cinnamon rolls, and then get into the real gift opening. Depending on how big your family is, it could take you twenty minutes, or it could take you several hours, like mine.
      Once everything is open, what happens?
      Good question.
      No families that I know of have a “after the gifts are open” Christmas tradition. It’s done.
      Feelings of sadness start to wash over you. You start remembering the things that were on your wish list. You look at what your siblings got. You count the number of gifts everyone received.
      Then it happens.
      You have the Christmas crash.
      Here are some tips to avoid the Christmas crash:

1.      Get your focus right

      If you have a Christmas crash, you can know that it is because you do not have the right focus.
      What does Christmas celebrate? The birth of Jesus Christ! The birth of God as a man.
      I was so thankful that we went to church yesterday, even though it was Christmas morning. It was a wonderful time. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper as well as baptism. What I loved about that Christmas service was how it was not completely centered around the birth of Jesus. It was centered around Jesus—His birth, His death, His resurrection, and His final coming.
      Christmas is a time to celebrate all that Christ did for us. The gifts are part of the celebration—not the celebration.
      If your focus isn’t right, please take some time today to set aside just for Him. Ask Him to reorient your heart toward Him and to give you a thankful heart.

2.     Enjoy your family

      Enjoying your family is a wonderful way to avoid the Christmas crash. I imagine most of you saw extended family over the past few days, or have plans to do so. There are not many times in the year when entire families get together. Even if your family is hard to be around, do not write them off. Spend time with them, get to know them better, and have a good time.

3.     Cultivate a heart of gratitude

      This is closely tied with Tip #1. If you have the correct focus, you will be thankful. You cannot have your eyes fixed on Jesus and be discontent. If you are discontent or ungrateful, then you do not know Jesus well enough. It is a sign that you do not understand His work on the cross.
      Most, if not all, of us came away with more stuff or money than before. That’s something to be thankful for! Even if you didn’t get what you wanted, at least you got something.
      To be cliché, at least you’re not a starving orphan in Africa.
      That’s a cliché I now take seriously, having spent two weeks working at an orphanage for abandoned babies in Africa.

      The Christmas crash can tell you where your heart is. I challenge you to have a joyful, thankful day today counting your blessings and praising God for His work on the cross.

How was your Christmas? Did you go to church? Have you been struggling with the Christmas crash? What tips do you have for beating the Christmas crash? Share in the comments!

What We're Doing Wrong This Christmas

Anastasis Faith

You are wearing a bright Christmas red sweater and toasty fuzzy socks as you walk into your family’s living room. The huge Christmas tree winks at you with those cheery blinking lights that drive your mom insane. You hear your little siblings laughing as Dad makes hot chocolate for the ones who don’t like eggnog. You smile, loving the warm, holiday fun with your family. Now you notice the radio playing. Strains of the profound hymn Fall on Your Knees reach your ears.

O holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt it's worth

The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder brinks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees

O hear the angel voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine
O night, O night divine

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name

You close your eyes, letting the truths behind the lyrics fill your heart. Christmas is a wonderful time, you think, to dwell on the miracle of Christ’s birth and the purpose for which He was born—the purpose of dying.
Then, the song is over and another one starts.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list
And checking it twice;
He's gonna find out
Who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

These songs are played back to back on Christian radio stations. When Christmas time rolls around, it’s like our country celebrates two things—Jesus’s birth and Santa Claus?
We hold up the embarrassingly trivial to the infinitely profound.
Why do we do this? I believe it’s because some people want to take Christ out of Christmas, so they create a jolly, belly bouncing, white-bearded man with a red coat and white trim. They want something else to celebrate. Now it’s becoming so a part of our culture that Christians are learning to celebrate Santa Claus too.
But what is Christmas really about?

“He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him.
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our wellbeing fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray.
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.”
Isaiah 53:2b-6

This is what Christmas is about. We sinned. We were separated from God because He is holy and He cannot abide with unholiness. His wrath had to fall on us—on you and me—to eternally separate God and man through eternal death.
But God loved us.
Yet, God cannot take our penalty because God cannot die.
However, God incarnate—God born as a man—could die and take our punishment.
Jesus was born of a virgin so that He could walk on earth, experience our pain, struggles, and weaknesses, and, ultimately, die.
Jesus stood in the line of fire and somehow, in a way humans will probably never understand, took eternities of wrath for each of us.

“The next day [John] saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29

Now we can be reconciled to Him. Now we can have meaning and purpose in our lives. Now we can spend eternity with Him.
Ladies, let’s not replace this with Santa Claus. Let’s show the world this miracle of Jesus’ birth, and let’s keep the Christ in Christmas.
Merry Christmas!

What are your thoughts on this topic? Share in the comments!

Christmas with Lauren Daigle, John Piper, Girl Defined, and More!

Anastasis Faith

Have you been looking for some holiday resources recently? I've put together a few articles and videos for you as we approach Christmas! 

Lauren Daigle: 

John Piper:

John Piper shares why he doesn't have a problem celebrating Christmas, even if December 25 may have connections to a pagan holiday.

            Four tips to show humility this Christmas season.

Girl Defined:

Jaquelle Crow

 Which is your favorite article/song/vlog? Do you have any Christmas resources to share? Leave a comment!

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