It’s the holiday season . . .

Tim Jackson —  December 3, 2012 — 10 Comments

It’s the holiday season. And the season seems to be expanding more and more each year. Stores small and large seem to be decked out earlier every year, with merchants trying to exploit the insatiable demands of holiday shoppers with dwindling discretionary income to spend.

But what’s the holiday season all about? From Thanksgiving through Christmas, this “most wonderful time of the year” has been hijacked by anyone trying to make a buck, hoping to make it into the black before the end of the year.

So, in an attempt to help all of us focus on the spirit of the holidays here at HelpForMyLife.org, we want to focus on some of the unique joys and heartaches, traditions and challenges, as well as opportunities that we hope will help all of us return to a more Jesus-centered focus at this “most wonderful time of the year.” After all, it’s His birthday that is being celebrated around the world.

We’ll be talking about traditions that we’ve found helpful and will give you some ideas that may challenge you to be more intentional in your celebrations this year. And we hope that will make the holidays more meaningful for you and your family.

First holidays celebrated with someone new—a spouse, a baby, a community—can be delightful and fraught with meaning. The newness can bring an intoxicating sparkle of wild-eyed discovery back into a holiday celebration that has become simply predictable or “ho-hum.”

On the other hand, first holidays celebrated without someone special—such as after a divorce or the loss of a spouse, child, parent, or dear friend—produce deep struggles with the ambivalent feelings of being torn over the heartache during a season made for celebration with precious loved ones.

Decisions regarding what traditions will or won’t be celebrated, to travel or not to travel on the holidays, and ways of avoiding getting sucked into the commercialization trap while balancing the desire to be a generous giver will be some of the topics we’ll discuss over the next 4 weeks.

So come and join in the discussion—” ‘Tis the season for sharing.”

Tim Jackson

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Tim Jackson is married to his college sweetheart, Cole. They have 3 adult children. Tim is the producer for the HelpForMyLife.org website, writes Discover Series booklets on a variety of counseling issues and hosts webinars for RBC Ministries. He's also the founder and president of Still Waters Counseling & Equipping Ministries, PC, a local counseling practice serving individuals, couples and families. When not in the office, you will probably find him up a tree with a bow, in a duck blind or fly fishing on one of Michigan's many rivers.

10 responses to It’s the holiday season . . .

  1. There is hope for the world keeping writing the post it brings joy to my heart that Christ is the reason for this season of joy and hope

  2. Michelle,
    Thanks for your encouragement. Let’s make this Christmas a real celebration of Jesus’ invasion to our planet to bring us the greatest gift of all–Himself.

  3. This blog states exactly what I’ve been saying for several weeks, Christ is the reason for the season. It is fine and well to give gifts during the holiday but don’t forget or be indifferent to the fact that Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Saviour. Some will go so far as to write Merry Xmas, I always bring to their attention that they just took Christ or of Christmas. I look forward to reading more on this topic and participating in the dialog. God bless all and Merry Christmas!

  4. This Christmas season I decided to dust off an old hymn book and read the full verses of great Christmas hymns. Its amazing how inspiring the joy of Christmas can be renewed by focusing on Jesus and significance of his birth. Also getting involved in your local church to help the poor and needy in the name of Jesus can make Christmas feel more like Christmas. Thank you Help for My Life for committing to help us all stay focused on what Christmas really means.

  5. Tim,
    I happened upon here looking to beg for my Daily Bread to be sent to my new home. I have such a heavy heart. I lost my entire immeadiate family and best friend in the last 2 yrs. My husband a year and a half ago my mom and only sibling this year. I want so bad to feel the excitement and to truly celebrate Jesus and I know he is with us always but I am so alone in the world now. We still need a tangable person to talkto, share with and lean on. I am 46 but feel the same hurt I did as a child. I have not attended church in years and have been trying to find some in my new town I even wrote to one asking for help to find a good place to volunteer a few hours at a food pantry just so I would not have to be alone for a second year and thought it might make me feel good to help others. I am disabled with a nerve condition so I could not do much more than a few hours but I never got a response. Why do people turn away when we need them the most? I hear widows say this all the time. Please pray that I can get peace and comfort everywhere I go I see what I had and I am happy for them but it hurts me so much. Please help me pray that I will make some friends to help me through. Everyone I know my age anyway has at least a child or someone to be with. I moved here to benear what is left of family and it seems they are to busy for me even though I have explained how I hurt. Scared of facing not just the holidays but the future alone. My life growing up was horrible then God sent an Angel in the form of my husband not sure why that had to end. Prayers would be great and I hope you achieve your goals.God Bless!

  6. Phoebe Zarif Cairo -Egypt December 4, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Dear really I thank you for your precious words ,I dream that we should celebrate the owner of Christmas (Jesus Christ) instead of other things , & evaluate his coming to our corrupted earth.

  7. Dear Tammy,
    I am sorry for your loss. Life can be lonely and everybody else is always busy doing their own thing. By all means, try to find a church to belong to but don’t look to people for the kind of companionship that you can only get from God. I know it’s hard to keep believing God cares when life hurts. It’s hard to find comfort in the Bible when all you want are visible arms to hold you and someone to acknowledge that you matter to them. But God is there. We don’t always sense his presence but we can trust His word. He says He will be with us always, that He will never leave us nor forsake us and that one day, we’ll see Him face to face.
    Trusting God does not mean everything will be rosy because He also said that in this life we will have tribulations but He also promised us His peace that passes all understanding and that we are never alone.
    Hold on to His promises, rejoice in each day and keep your eyes on the goal of an eternity with Him and your loved ones. I am praying with you.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Lola

  8. Tammy,
    1st holidays without loved ones is extremely difficult. It just hurts. These are times for celebration as you noted and now they are always going to be tinged with pain over those not present to celebrate with you. We aren’t meant to live or grieve in isolation. We can pour out our broken hearts to God (Psalm 62:8), but we also need a community of faithful Jesus followers with whom we can share our burden of grief and who can help us shoulder the load–”Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). We pray for the peace of Christ to be present with you throughout this Christmas season as His Spirit leads to connect with at least one other Jesus follower near you this Christmas.

  9. Lola And Tim – Thank You for the heartfelt words and for simply reading this. Lola I get but even GOD saw that we needed companionship and I have no one to help me with any thing. I pray he sets me on a path to finding this or I fear I will lose my mind. It is ulmost cruel to be so lonely. Tim that is all I want to. Thank you for your prayers I know they can work so that is why I asked. God Bless !

  10. Christmas has become a heartbreaking time of year for me as well. My 2 precious adult children no longer will speak to each other due to circumstances too complicated to explain. In my wildest dreams I would never have thought they would be apart. They were “best friends” as children, teens, and young adults. After each of them married, things fell apart between them. My husband and I must celebrate the holidays (and anything else for that matter) with each family separately. As it is with most mothers, my kids were my life and I yearn so much for our family to return to a peaceful relationship. Both of my children insist that they do not hate the other one but neither will make the first move to repair what is wrong. Each of their spouses are contributing factors for the discountent. I have finally excepted that this is not my fault and that it is out of my hands. I pray daily that God will help & comfort us all.

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