We all have expectations of how Christmas should be. Often, these expectations are based on:
- Presents from loved ones
- Family responsibility
Of course, these are good things that we all wish to have while celebrating Christmas, but you must not allow them to make you feel ungrateful. Though it is the nature of man to remember evil things and forget the good, as a Christian, you are a new creature, and you must know that there is more to Christmas than those things.
Are feeling grateful this Christmas? Here’s how to change the gears.
1. Count your blessings: This time of the year is often focused on receiving gifts from loved ones, and once your expectations are not met, a grateful heart will come in. To increase gratitude, make a list of things that you already have and list how blessed you are to have those things in your life. A songwriter wrote, “count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.
The human mind naturally would want to see all the losses but you have to take a seat and count your blessings. Remind yourself of every beautiful thing that happened this year. Count all the challenges, you overcame by the power of God. Count all the “little” miracles that happened in the course of the year. As you begin to count them, you will discover that you have a basket full of great things to be grateful for.
2. Focus on your ability: Are you able to breathe, get outside, sense, and use your legs and hands? Take time to be thankful for what your health allows you to do, not how it may be limiting you.
3. Write an appreciation note: The act of appreciating someone for being a good friend over the year or helping you in one way or another is an intangible way to be grateful. It strengthens relationships and makes you a happy person.
Gratitude is about feeling grateful for what you have rather than what you don’t have.
4. Stay within your budget: Celebrate this season within your means. This pertains to the number and extravagance of gifts.
5. Rely on His Promises: The promises of God in His word concerning your life will never fail, so no matter what happened this year, the promises of God over your life have not been broken. Every good thing God has spoken concerning your life will come to pass, therefore you rely on Him. Take the Holy Bible, search for scriptural promises that address your challenge, and hold on to them. The knowledge that God will not fail you even in the darkest of times will cause your heart to be filled with gratitude.
6. Embrace spirituality: There is much more to this season than the things we see. Rather than losing yourself to hustle and bustle, find intentionality in remembering the meaning of Christmas and celebrating the soul of everything good.
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Gratitude is about feeling grateful for what you have rather than what you don’t have. In doing so, you can boost your mental health and help those around you. Work on increasing your gratitude this season and into the new year.
From our heart to yours, may you find joy and peace as we remember Christ’s birth this season,
in Jesus’ name. Happy Christmas in advance!