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Preparing for Christmas

You can choose Christmas book

A few years ago I was given a book called “You Can Choose Christmas” by Clyde Reid.  It’s a very short read so in preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I try to read it every year around Thanksgiving.  The book covers a range of emotions that we may experience during the ups and downs, giving and receiving, busyness and calm throughout the month of December.

(Unless stated otherwise, the quotes referenced in this post come from this book.)

What does Christmas mean to you?

For many of us, Christmas may be a joyous time where we get together with family and friends that we don’t often see throughout the year and celebrate the birth of a Savior.  But for many, the holidays can be very lonely and sad.  We remember the times of Christmas past and we miss those that we’ve lost this year … and along the way.  We wish that they were still here celebrating with us.

nativity scene
Kara and Zeke on Christmas morning 2021

It’s my Choice

And it’s possible to feel all of these things and more at the same time.  This book reminds me that I can choose … “to do nothing.  You may wait and hope that someone else will make it a good Christmas for you.”  Or I can “choose to make it a good Christmas for someone else.”

Christmas decorations

every choice has a result

Sometimes we don’t believe or see that we have a choice in the matter.  Every day I wake up, I can choose what I will do, how I will act toward others (and toward myself), and how I will respond to their choices.  Regardless of the other person, my actions are my choice

And I must live with the consequences of my actions.

“We make the choice to hold on or to let go.  We choose our own happiness or our own lack of happiness.”

Good … Better … Best

Sometimes with our choices, there is not necessarily a right or wrong decision – instead it’s ‘what’s the better option’.  I find that my willpower, or the ability to restrain impulses using self-control, affects the choices that I make.  If I’m depleted or running on fumes, I often compound problems by making poor decisions. 

zeke laying on karas leg

What helps increase my Willpower?

Being Physically Prepared

First of all, it’s important that basic needs are being met.  That I’m getting good sleep, staying hydrated and eating healthy.  This means limiting sugar, alcohol and caffeine, which is often difficult to do during the holidays because it’s when we tend to be more exposed to these types of foods.

kara working out

Being Mentally Prepared

Next, it’s being aware and intentional with the decisions that I’m making.  And that these decisions are in line with my goals.  For example, we’re around family and friends more often this time of year.  It’s important for me to prepare and think about how I want them to feel after being around me, and what I want to give to the relationship – not just the presents that I’m giving. 

zeke laying on deck

Being Emotionally Prepared

I try to keep a positive attitude, being open to new possibilities and experiences.  “Risk opens the possibility of rejection and of acceptance and appreciation.  Risk opens the possibility of more pain and of great joy.”  For me, this means not overcommitting.

kyle + zeke walking

Being Spiritually Prepared

Finally, and this is a hard one for me, but it’s important to give myself grace when a poor choice is made.  When I blow it, it’s ok.  Each day – each moment – I have an opportunity to start fresh and try again.

wise old Zeke laying on mat on deck

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

I’m definitely not perfect in the choices that I make.  And I have a lot of areas where I need to grow and change.

“… But perfect love drives out fear …”

 1 John 4:18

Share the Love

rainbow in the sky

So I’m thankful that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, brought hope and love into the world, and showed me the extent of God’s love. 

This is what I choose to celebrate this time of year – and throughout the year.

Merry Christmas!

What Do you think?

Have you ever thought about this concept of “Choosing Christmas”?  What do you do to prepare for this season?  Please share your feedback below.  I’d love to hear and learn from you!

– Kara from Zeke Life

Live like Zeke
You’re such a good boy!


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