Spending quality time with family almost seems impossible when December rolls around. It's ironic, isn't it? Many people take time off to celebrate the Holidays, but many times it just feels like we are rushing from one place to the next. One Christmas party after another.
There is nothing wrong with Christmas parties, but it's also in the midst of other busy schedules. Children's Christmas plays, end semester assessments for those in school, papers due for those working in graduate studies, year end deadlines with work, last minute issues that have to be dealt with before the turn of the New Year. It's especially hard if you need to travel!
I honestly don't know if any of this will slow down anytime soon because all these things are pretty meaningful in our day and age. So, what are some ways we can actually spend quality time with our family during the Holidays?
1. Put down your phone
Man, this is is tough one for me. But the reality is we feel busier than we actually are because we are constantly tethered to these devices that keep going off in our pockets. It makes me feel like I have to respond to every sound that my phone makes. The truth is the world will go on if we put our phones down. There is a setting on my phone that will limit notifications after a certain time in the day. I need that because I average about 200 notifications (email, Facebook, text messages) every day. Not all of those are really important.
2. Make the most of family meal times
We try to eat at the table most nights, but almost everyone today feels the pressure of going and doing. Unfortunately, we also eat a lot of meals in our car, swallowing our food quickly as we go down the road. I just don’t think that’s the way God intended it to happen. Eating together as a family is a blessing from God. It can be one of our most meaningful times as a family if we turn off the TV and everyone puts their phones up.
3. Commit to attending Christmas services
Some of the most meaningful worship services in church happen around Christmas time. The season of Advent is a special time in the life of the church. Many churches work for several months ahead of time preparing for these services. Our choir has been working on our candlelight and communion service since the end of the summer. It’s that important. These are opportunities for Christmas traditions to be established in your family. It‘s a great opportunity to plant the seeds of the Gospel in the hearts of your kids that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
These three ideas won’t take a lot of time out of your schedule, and we couldn’t categorize these changes as radically sacrificial. However, like most things in life, we just need to look around and pay attention to the people that matter most to us. From there we can see ways to prioritize spending time with them.