The Holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means Christmas is just weeks away. When you read that, your heart probably skipped a beat and your to-do list started building in your head. From simply reading a couple sentences, you’re already feeling the stress of the Holiday season. Hurrying and busyness is at the root of this stress. Ann Voskamp says, in One Thousand Gifts, “Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
Much too often, Thanksgiving is centered on a to-do list and stress to get it all checked off. All the while we are missing the very purpose of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving: (n) the expression of gratitude, especially to God. It is a day that is set aside to give thanks. Yet somehow, over time, we have turned it into the exact opposite. “Black Friday” made its way to Thursday. The one day of the year that is meant to be set aside to give thanks for what we have been given, we find ourselves in long lines to gather more things. We are throwing away our Thanksgivings – one after the next. Let this be the year that you decide to dedicate the whole day, with your loved ones by your side, to pausing and giving thanks to God.
The season of Christmas is meant to be a time when we remember the greatest gift the world has ever been given, Jesus Christ. We are to celebrate His birth and give thanks to God for giving us such a wonderful and undeserved gift! But we are throwing away the Christmas season by allowing our minds to instead be filled with greed, jealousy, aggravation, stress, etc. This season should indeed be a time for giving. But our giving should be from a heart overflowing in thankfulness for what God has done for us. Let this be the year that you decide to make Christmas prominently about Jesus and allow your giving to be in celebration of His birth.
How do we stop throwing away the Holiday seasons? We must be intentional about not allowing our minds to be cluttered with endless to-do lists and busyness associated with the Holidays. Tea time will help you to be intentional. Brew a pot of tea, sit down, and enjoy. In that moment, center your mind around what this season is about. It is about God’s provision for us and the good gift He has given us in Jesus. Starting today, let’s gather around the table to eat, drink (tea), and be merry!