5 Reasons to Slow Down and Savor the Season

Updated Dec 16, 2022
5 Reasons to Slow Down and Savor the Season

Don't allow pictures with Santa and buying the perfect gift to take the place of connecting with Jesus in an intimate way.

Christmas is a wonderful season, but no matter how hard we try to plan ahead, budget early, and complete Christmas to-do lists, the season always carries with it undue stress and tensions, and in some cases, deep pain and grief. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, and before we know it, the end of the year has come and gone, and a new year is upon us. For some of us, this might be a good thing, especially if we've had a tough year, but for most of us, it's bittersweet. We look forward to the new year and the promise and hope it contains, but we also reflect on years gone by and the good (and bad memories) those years have brought us. Just as it is in life, it is important to slow down and savor the season. But how do we do that with so many tasks that need to be completed? 

Here are five reasons to slow down and savor the season:

1. It Only Comes Once a Year

Fall is a great time to reflect on the abundance of blessings God has provided throughout the past year. But once Thanksgiving passes, it's full speed ahead into the Christmas season. So often, our calendars fill up with Christmas concerts, plays, and events as the week of Christmas creeps up on us. Although December 25th comes at the same time each year, resist the temptation to fill your calendar with many events because you want to make Christmas a special day for everyone. 

Consider what constitutes a good day: expensive gifts? Fancy wrapping paper? A tree adorned in matching silver and gold ornaments? Perhaps Doctor Seuss’s book The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was right when it said, “Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.” Concentrate on the family and friends with whom you want to foster deep intimate relationships. Make the time to connect with them regularly, perhaps in the weeks prior to Christmas. Christmas Day can be hectic with all the traveling, gift exchanges, and dinners, and we often end up exhausted instead of enjoying a great holiday. Concentrate on making memories with those you love, like baking Christmas cookies, singing Christmas carols, or driving around your neighborhood looking at the fancy twinkling lights. These are the memories that will stick with you as you reflect each year on the special memories that life brings.

2. Jesus is the Reason for the Season

Perhaps the best reason to slow down and savor the season is to take time to focus our attention on the real reason for it. A great way to make Christmas last is to spend time in the Word reflecting on the prophecies of Christ coming, as well as the Advent season, which brings with it hope and anticipation of the Savior born in a manger. While it is great to make memories by taking holiday photos and creating the perfect Christmas card, it is not the main reason we celebrate Christmas.  

Don't allow pictures with Santa and buying the perfect gift to take the place of connecting with Jesus in an intimate way. Christmas can be a time when you experience a relationship with Jesus like never before. Jesus is the greatest gift we could ever receive, and no amount of money or fancy wrapping paper will change that. 

3. Christmas Is About Family

As kids, all we wanted was that perfect gift we asked Santa for. When we get to be parents, the best is to watch your children unwrap gifts and the wonder and excitement of them receiving that perfect gift. These are the memories that last a lifetime. Even if you have family members that are difficult to get along with, do your best to make amends where you can and strive to keep the peace during the holidays. It is not worth it to get into a squabble or petty argument and ruin the Christmas celebration for everyone. Although being with difficult family members can try your patience, realize that Christmas is not only about you but about everyone around you. As Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Christmas is about peace and goodwill toward men. There is no better area to do that than with your family. Do what you can to put the past where it belongs and focus on fostering healthy relationships (even superficial ones) for the sake of others this Christmas. 

4. There Will Always Be To-do Lists

No matter how hard we try to avoid it, it is easy to get caught up in the preparation that goes along with the Christmas season. Even if we do the bare minimum, there are still some Christmas gifts to buy and wrap, there's still family to be visited, and dinners to be prepared. This takes the focus off of the joy of the season and focuses on the empty wallet, the fight with the family member, or our expanding waistlines. These problems will always plague us. Consider adjusting your attitude from one that says, “I have to do all these things,” to one that says, “I get to do these things.” People in third-world countries have no idea what it means to send Christmas cards or decorate a tree in their homes. They barely know if they will have another meal or clean water to drink. A great way to focus on the season is to give back to those in need. It can be as easy as packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child or donating extra clothes or food to a food pantry or homeless shelter. There is no better feeling than knowing you gave of your time or resources to help someone else improve their day—and, ultimately, their lives.   

5. Nothing Lasts Forever

As we have just survived a global pandemic, one of the most important lessons we have all learned is that nothing lasts forever. The people we love could be here today and gone tomorrow. The beautiful house we spent many hours trying to make beautiful could be lost because of job loss, fire, or other tragedy. What we thought was routine blood work could result in a call from the doctor. That new job promotion today could lead to a pink slip three months down the road. Don't place your priorities on things that do not last. But focus on the present moment, and live each day to the best of your abilities. 

James 4:14 says, “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” We only get a certain amount of time here on earth. We don't know when our last day will come, so we are instructed to make the most of every opportunity. Concentrate on spreading the gospel message and bringing peace and goodwill to everyone you encounter. This is the best way not only to savor the season but to keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year long. 

Photo Credit: ©Nicole Michalou

Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.