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The Essential Christmas

Never allow the “extras” of Christmas take you away from the “essentials” of Christmas. 
This season – I feel more than at any other time in my life – the need to have laser like focus on the true power of Christmas.  It is so easy for us to get distracted by what I call the “extras” of Christmas.
  • The “extra” money you spend on Christmas gifts
  • The “extra” Christmas cookies you eat at the office that lead to the “extra” inches on your waistline
  • The “extra” time you spend at parties and dinners
  • On and on we could go listing the “extras” that accompany our celebration of Christmas
While I love the extra things we do this time of year…I never want the “extras” of Christmas to take our focus off of the “essentials” of Christmas.  There is only one reason we celebrate:  the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Redeemer to deliver us from the bondage and slavery to sin.  Let’s not lose sight of that this season.  Jesus is the “essential” reason we celebrate this season.
The problem with focusing on the “extras” and forgetting the “essentials” is that it changes how we feel about Christmas.  I have heard of people who literally hate Christmas because of the crowds at the mall and the busy schedule that the holiday forces on them.  They complain about having to buy presents for people they don’t like and attending the office holiday party full of jokes that are not funny and games they don’t want to play.  But you see – all of that comes from putting your focus on those extras rather than focusing on the essential.
So during this last week before Christmas – cut out some of the extras.  Spend that time with the Lord and with your family.  Invest that time and energy into writing down all the reasons you are thankful this season.  Make this an “essential Christmas” and I believe you will enjoy it more than you have any other Christmas past!

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