Practicing "Holy Day" Hospitality

What is your reaction when you think of the holiday season? Did you know that the holiday season is actually a “holy-season” that should bring us closer to the event or person we are celebrating? Contrary to current practice, Thanksgiving Day is rooted in an occasion focused on thanking God for His provision rather than parades, football games, and shopping at odd hours. Our study of American history reminds us that the Pilgrims had experienced an incredibly difficult year, yet they chose to be thankful. Christmas is the birthday of our Savior who was born in the humblest of circumstances and gave the best gift ever—salvation. So, what are some ways that you can make this holiday season one that is “holy”? Let’s begin with an assessment of our Holiday Anticipation.

“Holy-Season” Assessment 

Record the points that best describe your “holy-season” attitude.

4 indicates a high level of agreement.

 

When I think of the holiday season I …

1 2 3 4             choose to meditate on spiritual truths.

1 2 3 4             pray about events before saying “yes” to the invitations.

1 2 3 4             strategize my meals earlier in the day so that when an event arrives I am able to make healthy food choices.

1 2 3 4             prayerfully establish a realistic budget before starting shopping.

1 2 3 4             designate a portion of my holiday budget to my heavenly Father’s work.

1 2 3 4             purpose to stay within the established budget.

1 2 3 4             protect a portion of my holiday budget to take advantage of “after Christmas sales” to reduce the next year’s expenditures.

1 2 3 4             am realistic about my body limitations.

1 2 3 4             am reasonable about what I expect from others during the holiday season.

1 2 3 4             create a time schedule for events I am hosting.

Once the “HOLY-SEASON” ASSESSMENT is completed use the following scale for interpretation (no fair looking before you complete it!

 

“Holy-Season” Assessment Interpretation 

40-36                        A good possibility your holiday season will be joyful.

35-32                        A good possibility your holiday will be pleasant.

31-28                        A good possibility your holiday season will be challenging.

27-24                        A good possibility your holiday season will be stressful.

23-below                  A good possibility your holiday season generate unpleasant memories.

 

If your score was lower than you prefer, consider these strategies for moving your holiday season into the “joyful” category:

Strategies for Practicing Holy-Season Hospitality

Focus on the “reasons for the seasons.” The book of Psalms is an excellent source for holiday meditation. Begin today by dividing the number of days you have remaining until December 31 by the 150 Psalms. Purpose to finish the book by December 31. Remember as you read that the Psalms are directed to the will, not the emotions. As you read underline or highlight each time you read the phrase, “I will.” When your emotions attempt to control the season purpose to allow your will to be your reflect reaction.

Keep a gratitude list. Use Psalm 103 as your guide to remembering all of your heavenly Father’s goodness to you. Record at least one blessing a day (even if was a challenging day, you are still breathing). Review the list before retiring each evening.