Three days ‘til Christmas folks. Are you feeling all is calm? It’s a crazy time of year. The world seems to spin faster on its axis and there aren’t enough hours in the day. One more party to attend, one more present to buy – there are so many demands on your time – and it can be tough to find any peace at all.
When I sat down to write this blog post, I realized what a crazy year it’s been – both for me and for Phantom Screens. Since last Christmas, not only have we had a great year sales-wise but, I bought a house to restore in Mobile, Alabama! It’s been beyond a thing of joy to watch my dream come true.
And now December is here, the chaotic and commotion-filled time of year which easily can overshadow celebrating the ‘Christ’ in Christmas. Every year I fight the system to find peace despite the ‘craziness’ stirred up by all things retail. It’s not for the faint-hearted but here are five things I do to find peace at Christmas.
Not just in a lounging around way. Although that’s not a bad idea either… but I mean, in the way where you purposely make time to sit and appreciate life and all its tiny and big blessings, ones we easily take for granted or even forget about. So sit down and write out not ten, not 50 but at least 100 simple blessings. It may sound impossible but after reading one of my favourite books by Ann Voskamp – “One Thousand Gifts” I discovered how easy it is. Take a moment to find joy in the ordinary. Sit and think about the past year – maybe it’s time to let go of a grudge or to tell someone you love them. Sit outside (if it’s warm enough) or in front of a roaring fire and leave your phone or tablet behind. You’ll be amazed at how peaceful it feels.
OK. You may not want to hang around me when I do this, as it would confirm why I’ve never been asked to join our church choir. Whether you like to or not, whether you have talent or not, just find a place to sing with your favorite Christmas music – hymns, carols, rock, kids songs, oldies – it doesn’t matter. Just open your lungs and sing your little heart out. It won’t bring peace to anyone else, but it’ll sure make you feel awesome. And if Christmas music irks you, which it does for a lot of people, sing something else. Just sing.
Oh man this is so important. Serve someone, anyone. Commit a random act of kindness for a stranger – or a friend or someone in need. Adopt a family from your local food bank, shovel your neighbor’s snow, it doesn’t matter. Just get out and make a difference in someone else’s life.
And I don’t mean your pants because you’ve eaten too much. Physical activity is a great way to calm your mind. So go do something outside – go for a long walk, hike a hill, go tobogganing or have a snowball fight. Or if you live in Beautiful BC, go golfing. Whatever it is, just get your heart pumping!
You’re probably not surprised to know that I recommend you attend at least one Christmas event of some kind during this festive season. It doesn’t matter if it’s your kid’s Christmas program, a candlelight service or church on Christmas day. Just get out and fellowship with others – it’s Christmas! And if that’s not possible, at least find a quiet corner in your home and read Luke 2, the Christmas story.
So there you have it. My five suggestions to help your heart find peace.