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The following article was published on iBelieve on December 15, 2023.

by Pastor Allen Jackson

Sometimes all we need is a fresh perspective to renew our Christmas joy. That’s why I’d like to offer you some “be-attitudes” for the holidays.

  1. Be Prepared

It seems like a basic thing to point out, but you probably have the same family and friends gathering around you this year that you’ve always had. You know what to expect. It’s a rinse-and-repeat of what you’ve seen before. Think about the patterns you’ve experienced during the previous holidays, and the conversations that usually take place. What are some ways you can bring your faith into those moments? What God-stories can you share from your life this year that could turn the conversation from small talk into talking about the Kingdom? Even a simple thing, like praying for the people you’ll see before you get to the event, can change your heart and your perspective as you arrive for the celebration.

  1. Be Flexible

All too often we make our plans, and then reality happens. Have you noticed that reality very seldom considers our plans? Someone is late, or a flight gets canceled, or a present didn’t arrive on time. These unexpected intrusions tend to cascade upon us emotionally. That’s why it’s good to be prepared to be flexible. Expect things are not going to work as perfectly as you would like. The light in your oven may go out; the turkey may be overdone, underdone, too smoky or not smoky enough; somebody might show up with a guest, leaving you to magically materialize an extra place setting. Don’t allow those sudden plot twists to collapse your joy. Consider it an opportunity to practice grace, kindness, and forbearance (Galatians 5:22-23).

  1. Be Purposeful

Instead of focusing our holidays on shopping, cooking, and decorating, let’s set our intentions on making a Kingdom difference. I realize many individuals have significant emotional investments in the traditions of this season, and I’m not challenging that—we want to celebrate Christmas with great enthusiasm! But let’s be equally determined to bring a Kingdom purpose into the holidays. What would it look like for you to have the most spiritually impactful holiday season that you’ve ever had? Think about it, ask the Lord about it, and expect Him to lead you in some new and unexpected ways. 

  1. Be Helpful

A practical way you can change the game this Christmas season is to be more helpful than you’ve ever been. Wash more dishes. Say “thank you” more frequently. Don’t require others to wait on you. Facilitate good outcomes. Show up with the best attitude that your friends, family, and coworkers have ever seen.  Make them wonder what happened to you because they’ve never seen you be that cooperative. Do it on purpose—not because you feel like it, not because you want to—but because it’s a way to honor the Lord and serve Him through the entire season.

The word “holiday” was created from the words “holy day.” We’re getting breaks in our schedules, days off work, and days out of school because we are celebrating holy days. So why, as the people of God, don’t we bring an attitude of holiness to the holy days? An easy way to do that is by being more helpful than you’ve ever been.

  1. Be Available

Make yourself available, primarily to the Lord. For the next few weeks, start every day saying, “Lord, whatever you have for me today, I’ll do. I’m on assignment.” Then, answer that call, making yourself available and interruptible for others. 

What would that look like? Who do you know for whom an act of kindness would make a big difference? Where could a kind word change the trajectory of someone’s day or even their holiday? Be available.

  1. Be Grateful

For some, Christmas is not an easy time of year. You may have experienced a recent loss or unexpected difficulties, and the holidays tend to bring reminders of those things. Or maybe your life isn’t the way you would like it to be; the kids aren’t coming home, or the grandkids aren’t available. Maybe you’ll be spending time with challenging family members.

Whatever the issue, determine within yourself that you are going to be grateful. If you’re eating off your lap in the corner because the main table is full—be grateful for the people around you. If you’re eating alone, be grateful for the food in front of you and Jesus’ presence with you. Take time to worship the Lord and give thanks to Him. He is the One we’re celebrating. He is the One who sent His Son to change your life, both in time and eternity. There’s no circumstance that should stop us from worshiping the Lord. In fact, when things are the hardest and you least feel like worshipping, those are the most important times to do it. God will meet you as you offer a sacrifice of praise to Him.

I hope these “be-attitudes” help you see some new ways you can invite God into your holidays through your actions, your prayers, your behaviors, and your attitudes. Being intentional will bring God’s light, hope, and peace into each place you go—from the big celebrations to your daily interactions at the grocery store. I can’t think of a more joyful way to celebrate Christmas than that. 

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