Making the Most of the Count Down!

Have the past few weeks been a bit of chaos mixed with special moments with friends and family at your Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations? Hopefully, you’ve gotten in on some great deals during your holiday shopping and that you’ve had time to spend a few quality moments with those you love. In the midst of all these extra activities, the regular routines of life may get a bit overwhelming – washing clothes, cleaning house, paying bills and so on. One of the goals that wasn’t met in my life over the past two weeks was getting a blog post written. Often, I struggle with guilt over these types of self-imposed deadlines, but such is life. You do your best and then keep on going. And in the end, many things stressed over are not deal breakers in life. Learning to keep the most important things as the daily priority is a true challenge!

In an effort to encourage you to enjoy the spirit of Christmas each day as you count down to Christmas, here are a few ideas we are sharing at our Women’s Christmas Party at church tonight. These are guilt-free ideas with no mysterious deadline looming over your head “to do” one more thing before Christmas arrives. Rather, let them serve as a fun exploration and journey to see what can intentionally, but naturally, fit into your daily routine – to bless you and those around you. Even the smallest gesture of God’s love can really make a difference in the world around us as we shine the Light of God’s love in our communities and with our church family! 

1. Encourage a stranger with a simple gesture – a smile, holding the door open or simply saying hello.

2. Put some cash in the ‘red kettle’ today or support another local Christmas outreach ministry.

3. Invite a customer in line behind you at the store to go ahead of you.

4. Enjoy a favorite hot drink (or beverage) and listen to a few minutes of Christmas carols.

5. Call and talk with a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to recently.

6. Take time to thank a store clerk for their helpful assistance.

7. Thank God for all the blessings He has provided for you in life this past year.

8. Write a note of encouragement to a friend this Christmas – or add it into your Christmas card!

9. Pay the bill for the person behind you in the drive through (just ask the clerk!).

10. Jot down the five things you “know” are a part of the Biblical Christmas story, and then check and see if your memory is right. (Check out Matthew and Luke for referencing.)

11. Make time on Christmas eve (even if just a few minutes) to worship ‘the newborn King.’

12. Pray for God’s blessing and grace before you gather with your extended family members.

13. Visit or call someone with the purpose of sharing your love and appreciation for them.

14. Send a hand written thank you note to someone who has already given you a gift this year.

15. Bring treats into the staff room at work.

16. Go through your pantry and donate items to the local food bank or canned food drive.

17. Tape coins and/or candy canes to random vending machines (ie at work, at motels)

18. Leave an extra big tip for a server at a restaurant - inside a Christmas card.

19. Leave a gift card on the windshield of a car - randomly - in the parking lot at a local store.

20. Visit a nursing home and drop off some holiday cookies or treats to the nursing staff.

21. Take time to encourage someone in the church who you have just met this year.

22. Volunteer to help in a ministry at the church and/or sign-up for the church nursery in 2014.

23. Stay to help clean-up after a family, work or church Christmas event.

24. Hug your kids, grandkids or an elderly person. It’s healthy for the giver and the recipient!
 
Enjoy your countdown journey to Christmas
or begin in 2014 by sharing God’s love.
 
"Faith that doesn't show itself by good works is not faith at all -
it is dead and useless."
"All we need is faith working through love."
James 2:17 & Galatians 5:16b

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