J.O.Y for the Holidays

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed, but the holiday season is upon us!  Stores are stocked with lights and decorations, everyday a new catalog comes in the mail reminding me that there are only X number of shopping days left.  Even the blogs I read are full of wonderful recipes, schedules and ideas for making this the best Thanksgiving/Christmas ever!

And I am feeling.......overwhelmed.

It's my fault, I admit it.  I, all too easily, get sucked into the utter madness that takes over people this time of year.  The madness of trying to do too much in too short of time, the madness of being the "perfect" hostess, the madness of finding the "perfect" gift for everyone on my list, and even the ridiculous family madness.  I find that in a season that is supposed to be all about Joy and Peace, I struggle to find any.

As I was pondering this the other day (a.k.a - wallowing in self pity that I couldn't stop the holidays from coming) I remembered our, one and only, house rule.  In everything we do, we are to have J.O.Y.  You may have heard this before, but it stands for Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.  I began to think about all the things that stress me out during the holidays and realized, though they may be packaged to look like they are giving and self sacrificing they are mostly just my selfish pride.  I want to be the perfect hostess so people will say "Oh look how nice her house looks, Oh my, this turkey is divine!"  I want to find the perfect gift because I want to be seen as clever and resourceful.  (Me, me, me, pride, pride, pride.)

So now as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw nearer and nearer I have armed myself with these verses.

Jesus 1st:  Galatians 1:10 - For do I now persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Others 2nd:  Galatians 6:10 - Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Yourself last:  Matthew 6:33 - But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

If I am seeking His approval and His righteousness every day, everything else just seems terribly unimportant.

So bring it on, unnecessary holiday nonsense, this year I will truly be CELEBRATING the birth of my King and thanking Him everyday for His gift of Himself to me!  Oh, and I may have a little turkey too, I've heard it's divine.


  1. Thanks for such a timely and good reminder. Opposite of you, I tend to enjoy the madness of this season so much, that I don't take the time to sit, be quiet, and reflect on the great gift of Jesus coming to this earth. So, while our reasons are different, may I also get away from focus on me, and focus on my Savior over the next several weeks.

  2. Care if I join you? My husband wonders why I am trying to get all this Christmas shopping and stuff done now. He is more of a Christmas Eve shopper. But I was hoping to have most of it done by Thanksgiving. Now I'm thinking that I need a whole new outlook on Christmas. Food to think on. Thanks.

  3. Anyone have any good practical ideas for how to keep the focus more on Christ?

  4. I think it would be great to replace giving material gifts for Christmas with giving a service. For example, offer to wash someones car, cook dinner, go grocery shopping, etc. I like this idea for multiple reasons...it takes the emphasis off of material things and it saves money. However, Christmas is my husband's favorite holiday and I don't think he would go for this!

  5. I think it's a fantastic idea, but I don't think my (adult) family would go for it either. I just might give it a try anyway!

  6. How did I pass this post up? (Good thing Elisa included a link.)
    Hearts to the moon!