Presence Over Presents

Andrea FortenberryBlog1 Comment

It’s December! Can you believe it?

This month a lot of our focus is on presents: what to buy and who to buy for. Where we can get the best deal and how quickly it will arrive. The commercialism of Christmas can easily overshadow the true meaning of the season.

The great news though, is that we can change our focus and be intentional! Imagine—what would it look like if we focused on experiencing presence over presents?

Let’s take the opportunity this holiday season to focus on experiencing God’s presence and the presence of others. Here are some suggestions:

  • Do Daily Bible reading as a Family: The book of Luke has 24 chapters. If you read one every day, it will take you right up to Christmas Eve and will cover the entire life and ministry of Jesus. (Since we’ve just started the first week of December, it will be easy to catch up by reading an extra chapter for a few days.)
  • Be Present: When you’re with loved ones, minimize distractions. Turn your phone off or put it in the other room. Put your work to the side until after the kids are in bed. Look each other in the eye and listen to one another. We develop stronger relationships with others when we feel seen and heard.
  • Serving: Opportunities abound this time of year to serve with your family. Find a soup kitchen, food pantry or church that could use your help. Your family will enjoy each other’s presence while helping others. Or come up with your own creative way to show love to strangers as you’re out and about town.
  • Invite people over: Although the calendar is very very full this time of year, brainstorm with your family about how you can extend hospitality to others. Invite the neighbors, the soccer team or your kids’ friends over. You don’t necessarily have to cook or make it fancy. It can be something as simple as hot cocoa and store-bought cookies.
  • Watch Meaningful Media That Points to Jesus: One of our family favorites is The Nativity Story.
  • Open Gifts with Intention: Read Bible verses and/or pray together on Christmas morning before opening gifts. It reminds us all to have our hearts centered on the reason for the season: our Savior, Jesus.

May you and your families experience God’s peace and presence as we celebrate Jesus this Christmas season!

One Comment on “Presence Over Presents”

  1. Steve, thank you! For your patience, understanding. Trusting in God, that you and your family and those with whom you surround yourself will have a blessed Holiday season. As we bring in the new year we count our blessings; giving thanks each day that we may somehow touch those in need.
    God Bless You ; Again thank you! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ! BLESSINGS
    RIck & Laura D.

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