Step 6 – Wrap it Up
We have reached November and that means we are in the home stretch of our pre-Christmas season planning. It is time to finish things up and make sure we are keeping Jesus at the center of it all. Below are some easy ways to do just that…
You are NOT behind
Say that to yourself – “I am not behind.” Remember, anything you have done before Thanksgiving is putting you AHEAD. The whole point of pre-planning is to be sure you do not get rushed, stressed, buried in long lists of things to do, and miss celebrating Jesus with your loved ones. There is still plenty of time. As long as you are able to enjoy a peaceful, Christ-centered Christmas (on whatever time frame you choose), you are making Jesus smile for His birthday.
Let’s take a minute for a reality check. If your plans are a little more elaborate than your time is going to allow and you are already feeling stressed, cross some things off your list. Remember, nothing about celebrating Jesus birthday should cause you to be stressed. If you had plans to hand make cards or gifts and you haven’t even had the time to get started, look realistically at your available time and decide if you should adjust your plans. It’s okay to save that idea for next year!
Get out your gift/stocking list and take inventory. Do you have ideas for those people who are left on your gift list? How about giving a gift that doesn’t come in a box or bag? Sometimes the gift of time or an act of service can be a HUGE blessing and more meaningful than anything that comes from a store. A trip to go together to the ice rink or an overnight stay at a special location are great gifts of time. Detailing your son or husband’s messy vehicle might be more of a blessing than anything that you could wrap.
Is Jesus one of the names on your gift list?
Back when we were making our gift lists (Step 2); I encouraged you to be sure Jesus was included on your list. It is His birthday we are celebrating after all. Have you thought of something you and/or your family can do as a gift to Jesus? It can be something you do individually or as a family. Be sure to take the time to write your gift to Jesus down or take a picture to put under the tree with a tag that says “To: Jesus, Happy Birthday!” These could be kept from year to year in an album or special box…
An easy way to get gifts wrapped is to set up a temporary wrapping station. Put a card table or other folding table in a corner and gather all your wrapping supplies there. It will be super easy to wrap/bag a few gifts when you have a minute or two.
Cards can be finished up the same way as a wrapping station. Put your cards, envelopes, stamps, address list, pen and return address labels…in a basket or bucket. With everything in one place, you can easily finish up a few cards as you have time. It also makes it super easy to grab and take with you – address a few cards while you wait for a doctor’s appointment or sit in the school pick-up line. They will be totally complete before you know it!
Shine Your Light
Start praying now that you will shine Christ’s light to others this December, and that your eyes will be open to the opportunities around you. This really is a very special time of year. Hearts are just more open – people who would normally not say a word to anyone will visit about turkey recipes and gift ideas at stores. Like no other time of year, opportunities to be a blessing are all around us. Having pre-planned will put you in a less stressed, more peaceful place than most others around you. Pray you will have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control in all circumstances. What better gift to give Jesus for His birthday? Galatians 5:22&23.