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Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! But this time is also very stressful for people. Something so special shouldn’t be so stressful.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is, everyone is so caught up in “holiday” that they forget “Christmas.”

Well what’s the difference?

Holidays paint a picture of crazy planning, busy shopping, and making sure everything is perfect. But Christmas takes us back to when we were young and filled with anticipation for the celebration.

In order to find the solution to this problem, allow me to take you back to the first Christmas. The people of Israel had long been awaiting the arrival of a Savior. There were many prophesies speaking of the Messiah, who would save them. And finally, through the virgin birth, the first signs of these prophesies were becoming visible. The Messiah, Jesus, came to this earth and blessed us with the greatest gift we will ever receive, forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him to those who repent.

So what does this mean?

Christmas is a time of celebration! It is a holiday, but it’s also SO much more. It is a time to remember the Ultimate Gift and celebrate the new life that Jesus brought to the world.

It’s also a time of love. God is love, and we see that in John 3:16. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. So rather than stressing about everything, spread this love, especially during Christmas.

It’s a time of giving. God gave us Jesus and we can reflect His love to others by blessing them.

But why eliminate “holiday”?

We don’t have to, we just need to stay strong to what Christmas is all about. The problem isn’t found in a word, but in a lack of understanding. Society is exalting holiday, xmas, and anything that takes Jesus out of the picture. Do you see? We can’t take Christ out of CHRISTmas. It’s like eliminating the reason we celebrate out of our celebrations. A main reason we are always stressed during the “holidays” is because we are too quick to get rid of the Purpose and leave the problem.

Sure, it’s the holiday season. But remember that it is way more important than that. The problem is strangely enough not just how commercialized Christmas has gotten, but is also due to the fact that Jesus is being subtracted from our celebrations and everyone is too caught up in everything else to realize it. I think we have become so used to the saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season” that we have forgotten to sit back and realize that He really is.

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{ In order to take a break from busy shopping, I’ve compiled a list of a few ways to spread Christmas Cheer and relax during this busy time. It’s a time of rejoicing, giving, and loving, and these are a few ways to enjoy, give, and spend time with the ones you love. }

Christmas To-Do List:

1. Bake treats for your friends/family/neighbors

2. Play some Christmas music

3. Read the Christmas Story (found in Matthew and Luke)

4. Go Light Watching

5. Decorate with family and friends

6. Decorate Christmas Cookies

7. Make some DIY Gifts (Would you be interested in a blog post?)

8. Go see a Christmas play

9. Go Caroling

10. Tree Shopping

11. Learn to play a Christmas song

12. Fill an Operation Christmas Child box

13. Really spend time with the ones you love

14. Enjoy some Hot Cocoa

15. Take Christmas cards to a nursing home

16. Decorate Christmas Cookies

17. Watch some of your favorite Christmas movies

18. Do a Random Act of Kindness (lots of people need help this time of year)

19. Go ice skating

20. Pray about supporting a child through Compassion

21. Take a family member/ friend out to dinner

22. Relax and play card games with family/friends

23. Decorate a Gingerbread house

24. Start a notebook filled with things you’re thankful for (focus on blessings/ gifts you already have)

25.  Burn a Christmas-scented Candle

26. Look through old Christmas pictures

27. Cook a dinner for a sick or elderly person

28. Make a scrapbook of your favorite Christmas memories

29. Go on a carriage ride

30. Take time to really appreciate the greatest gift of all – Jesus.