Holidays are frequently times when people get trapped by the expectations game. Because everyone around you assumes that the day is going to be “really good”, “special” or “fantastic” and is constantly telling you to have a “merry Christmas”, it is easy to assume that having a good Christmas is something that happens easily. Consequently, there is a tendency to expect that it will be a good Christmas only to be disappointed when the day arrives. Boxing Day comes and it feels like you got socks instead of the iPhone or cookware instead of the pearls. This is one of the main reasons why Christmas can be such an emotional roller coaster ride for many. So, how are we to avoid the disappointment of failed expectations? It is by preparing ourselves spiritually for the coming celebrations. Here are some helpful words from the Apostle Paul:
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[f]has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:12-15).
One of the best ways to prepare for the Christmas holidays is by cultivating thankfulness in your heart to receive with gratefulness whatever this season will bring. As Christians, we have so much to thank God for – for life, health, family, friends, for the lovely part of the world we live in. Most of all we have the Lord Jesus Christ; the one who came, lived and died that we might be forgiven. If God has given us all this, not least His precious and beloved Son, why do we then grumble at not getting the latest gadget or getting costly jewellery? Start preparing your heart now/today for Christmas (and beyond that the New Year) by being thankful for the many gifts God has given you (and will give you) and you will find this Christmas (and beyond) a more joyful time. May you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2016.