3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Christmas and Beyond

Renee Bethel

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Published Dec 12, 2022
3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Christmas and Beyond

Setting intentions helps you focus on what’s important to you—what you value. Write down your intentions in a notebook or journal.

Have you ever washed clothes the night before so you would have something to wear to work the next day? Do you make to-do lists before going on a trip? What about grocery shopping several days before you are expecting guests for dinner? If you’ve done any of those things, you were actively preparing for work, for your trip, and your meal with friends or family.

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be super organized, you probably prepare more than you realize. Knowing that it will be a rainy day, you naturally grab a raincoat on the way out the door. You are making yourself ready for a rainy day. You are preparing yourself to stay drier than you would without a raincoat. 

The Bible says to “be prepared and prepare yourself” (Ezekiel 38:7), to “prepare your minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13), and to be “prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).

When we prepare, we have more peace, more confidence, and more joy, and we’re able to be more present and receive so much more personally because of our preparations. We’ve set our intentions, and we know how to move forward. 

Christmas is a wonderful celebration in which almost everyone feels like they have to make preparations—gifts to buy, cookies to bake, food to prepare, clothes to wear, and parties to attend. Have you ever thought about preparing yourself for Christmas? About preparing yourself to celebrate the birth of Jesus and move into the New Year?

Let’s look at three ways to prepare yourself for Christmas and beyond:

1. Fill Your Mind with God’s Word 

Our minds are constantly bombarded with words and thoughts throughout the day as we scroll through social media, check emails and text messages, and talk with others. The mind is powerful. Neuroscience proves that our thoughts can physically rewire our brains to overcome negativity, improve our health, and reshape our lives. It’s so important to be intentional with what fills our minds. God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), and speaking truth aloud from God’s Word is powerful.

The Bible tells us to “... set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God” (I Chronicles 22:19) and “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Let’s prepare our minds to worship God and celebrate Jesus’ birth by creating a plan to immerse ourselves in God’s Word.

Action Step

Schedule blocks of time on your weekly calendar to spend time in God’s Word. Even if weekends are when you have more time, you can still plan to listen to scripture passages using a Bible app while you are doing chores or driving in the car during weekdays. Memorizing Bible verses is also perfect during the week when your time may be shorter. 

Read and reflect on the Christmas story found in Matthew 1:1-25 and Luke 2:1-21. Choose one or more Bible verses to commit to memory. Dig deeper with these passages using a Bible commentary. 

2. Fill Your Heart with Music

Most people enjoy music. Research proves that music can lighten our moods, reduce anxiety and depression, and help us be more productive. Some people even say that music is therapeutic and healing. Music can also be tied to fond memories of special events. 

Ephesians 5:19 tells us to “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” We are told to “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts” in Psalm 105:2.

Let’s prepare our hearts to worship God and celebrate Jesus’ birth by making music part of our daily routine this Christmas season.

Action Step

Create a Christmas music playlist with songs celebrating Jesus’ birth and reminding us that He is coming again to finish what He started.

Here are a few songs to get you started:

Jesus Joy of the Highest Heaven - Keith & Kristyn Getty

Mary, Did you Know? - Pentatonix

3. Slow Down and Savor the Season 

During the Christmas season, when everything tends to increase and speed up, slowing down and pulling back is a paradigm shift. 

Jesus reminds us in Matthew 11:28-30 that when we come to Him, we will find rest for our souls. 

Instead of barreling through to get it all done, first of all, I’m inviting you to make space to care for your body and get more sleep.

Where can you add 30 minutes to one hour of extra sleep several days during your week? How would sleeping an extra hour on Saturday mornings make you feel? When you are rested, everything is better. Don’t you agree? You will be able to think clearer, be in a better mood, have the ability to see beyond yourself and be able to invest in others, which are things we would all like.

Next, I’m inviting you to re-examine your to-do list. When December arrives, most of us expect to have more to do than we can possibly get done every day. Can you relate?

Here’s the secret—to add in more activities or things to do, you have to take some things out. What can you remove from your daily and weekly to-do list to make space for additional things that you’d like to do related to the Christmas holiday? This seems so simple, but sadly, most of us never stop long enough to consider this solution. 

We still have the same amount of time each day that we had before December started. What makes us think that we can add more things to be done each day or week without eliminating some things? When we replace and prioritize items on our to-do list, it eliminates stress and allows us to truly enjoy what and with whom we focus our attention.

Finally, I’m challenging you to be fully present for God, for yourself, and for your family and friends. What might that look like for you? A great place to start is to spend less time checking your phone and scrolling through social media. Many of us have developed an unhealthy habit of checking our phones mindlessly throughout the day.

Another suggestion to be fully present is to engage others in conversation and practice your listening skills. Be genuinely curious and ask questions about what’s going on in the lives of those you are with.

When you slow your pace, you are better able to engage your five senses and fully experience the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel of the wonderful Christmas season.

Let’s prepare our bodies to worship God and celebrate Jesus’ birth by giving ourselves space to be rested, not adding more to our to-do lists, and being fully present this Christmas season.

Action Step

Take some time to set your intentions for extra sleep, for replacing things on your to-do list, and for engaging with the people and places you experience. Setting intentions helps you focus on what’s important to you—what you value. Write down your intentions in a notebook or journal.

We all love the results of being prepared. To be prepared for the good works that God has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), we have to prepare our minds, our hearts, and our bodies. Preparation takes time and effort, but the results fill us with peace and joy.

“Joy to the World! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room and Heaven and nature sing.”

Resource:

Discover your Needs and Values—includes an assessment and results coaching. Needs are what you must have to be satisfied in life. Values are what’s important to you in the way you live and work.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Alasdair Elmes

Renee Bethel headshotRenee Bethel, author of  Finding Me: A Woman’s Guide to Learning More About Herself, is a Professional Christian Life Coach and a Certified Enneagram Coach. Her passion lies in guiding growth-minded Christian moms and grandmothers towards embracing their identity in Christ and finding freedom in the finished work of Jesus. If you are ready to renew your thinking and embrace the beautiful identity you have in Christ, so that you can deepen your influence in the roles you fill as mom and grandmother, request a free copy of, “One Truth a Day to Embrace Your Identity in Christ.”