It’s time to prepare for Christmas!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging “Words for Christmas.” Each post will highlight one word, offer inspiration and give practical tips for preparing your heart for Christmas. Ready to begin?
The first word in this Christmas blog series is prepare.
Since Thanksgiving was late this year, Christmas will be here before we know it. Preparations are already occurring with decorations, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. The hyper- activity of December is upon us. Yikes!
It’s time to create a plan so that you can know how you have to prepare for Christmas. In the first few days of the month, take a minute to survey your family’s December activities. Sit down with your calendar and family members to write down the dates of church and school rehearsals and programs. If you have kids or grandkids that participate in sports activities, be sure to include those practices and games. Are you overwhelmed yet?
Prioritize what you need to prepare.
Consider what is realistic to accomplish and realize what just adds craziness. Write them down to keep organized. Some things that could be on the list are shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, cooking, mailing, caroling, etc. When will you do those tasks throughout the next 25 days (on top of regular life activities)?
It is easier to plan when the time is separated into smaller sections. Consider what needs to be done in each week of December. Make your own adjustments so you are able to get everything done early and on time. Here is a sample plan:
First week (December 1 – 7): Prioritize your Christmas activities. Decorate. Write down ideas for gifts. Begin Christmas shopping.
Second week (December 8 – 15): Write, print, address, & stamp Christmas letters. Prepare packages for mailing. Mail Christmas cards, letters and any shipped gifts at lowest rate* (*USPS Rush Rates available thru Dec 18th).
Third week (December 16 – 23): Choose a Christmas baking day. Make your baking & shopping list; grocery shop for supplies. Finish gift shopping. Wrap gifts. Clean the house. Decide your Christmas day menu. Grocery Shop.
Week of Christmas: Finish shopping and wrapping. Prepare any recipes in advance that call for it. Relax and enjoy Christmas– you are ready!
Your preparation list will look different, but this gives you an idea of how to plan to get everything done. When you spread the activities out over the calendar, life is more manageable. Effective preparation will save time and money.
The following video shows some preparation for a concert by Michael W. Smith. We generally don’t see the behind the scenes activity of any production, just the end result. Preparation takes time and thought. The result is effective when all the different elements come together.
Remember what God did to prepare for Christmas.
“…Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3 NIV).
“When the time had fully come, God sent His Son….” (Galatians 4:4 NIV).
God’s plan for our redemption is first recorded in Genesis 3:15, after Adam and Eve sinned. The promised redemption came when history was ripe for the birth Jesus Christ, the one who would restore our relationship with God. Over 300 Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. The hearts of people anticipated a Messiah. God brought together all the pieces of history so that at just the right time, He sent his son. God went to great lengths to prepare for the first Christmas.
As you prepare for Christmas, may the Lord be your strength and peace. Remember to focus on what really matters. Make a plan that will work for you. Throughout December, prepare the way of the Lord to enter your heart in a fresh new way.
Next in the blog series Words for Christmas: Simplicity In Christmas.
Thank you for this word. Looking forward to more.
Very good advice, Nancy. In the past few years, we’ve cut back on the number of activities we participate in and we are able to enjoy the Christmas season without feeling rushed. Look forward to your future posts.
Nancy Kay Grace
Thanks, Deb. Glad to have you join me on this journey!
Nancy Kay Grace
Thanks for your comment, Joan. It is true that we miss so much when we rush through Christmas activities. Glad to have you on this journey!