Christmas Thoughts

As Christmas approaches: An Attitude of Gratitude will make this season a real blessing! Christmas Thoughts for 2009.

We all see others with more than we have and feel a little envy. Sometimes it's not greed, just the awareness that we could make good use of this or that, at home or work, to do a better job in our daily tasks or enjoy a little more comfort in life.

Many people have real needs not met, and all of us seem to have a difficult time differentiating between needs and wants.

If we embrace a healthy attitude of gratitude between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we should be able to deal with the January credit card statements with peace instead of shock.

Healthy Christmas Thoughts...

Here are a couple of ideas to help sort out the consumer lust this season brings.

First, if it’s a great idea today, it will be a great idea tomorrow. Don’t make any impulsive purchase. Decide if it is a need or want, and look at the checkbook before going any further. If it’s a real need, you will not care what the credit card or bank ledger says after the purchase. If it is a want, wait a day or two, and then go for it if you still feel the desire you felt at the store that first day.

Second, don’t buy anything just to make you feel better. You will always come back to your ‘emotional center’, and if your not happy with yourself, you won’t be happy after any particular purchase for long.

Third, don’t go shopping without a list of ‘who’ you are shopping for and ‘what’ you are need to get. In addition, a rough budget for gifts can help when you need more help making a decision.

Fourth, take inventory of how much you have. We must search to find a balance between what we have and what we want. Take a look at the following article, and realize you are probably very blessed right now. Then go into the Malls and have a great time. Giving is fun, knowing you thought it through before you stepped out the door.

Attitude of Gratitude

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace... you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with good health you are more fortunate than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle unfolding all around you, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of persecution, harassment, arrest, torture, or death... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If your parents are still alive and still are very rare, even in the United States.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

Author Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas! May Peace and Joy be yours the whole year through,

Greg Vail

I so loved this top 10 list I am adding it for more on good Christmas Thoughts. Blessings....

10 Tips to Help Prepare for the 2009 Holiday Season

Author: Jim Burns

I can’t believe that the 2009 holiday season is upon our doorstep already. For so many people, 2009 has been a roller coaster experience. And some are ready to get off the ride! The economy has impacted everyone, some much more than others. And the impact hasn’t just been financial. Attitudes, emotions, plans, and mindsets have all been affected. I have no doubt that this year’s recession has resulted in a culture-wide increase in stress and anxiety.

For many of us, the holiday season is a time that is anticipated with both joy and anxiety. Sure, we love the celebrations, the family traditions, and we cherish the memories of holidays gone by; but along with them, we add the stresses of preparation, expectations and the fear of letdowns, or family squabbles that we have experienced in the past. And, this year, the stress and anxiety level is likely to be amplified. With this in mind, here are ten tips I believe can be helpful in getting ready for an enjoyable, meaningful holiday season in 2009.

1. Set manageable expectations. Spend some time now setting realistic and manageable expectations for your holiday season. Understand that you can’t do everything, and with our current economic realities, you might not be able to do everything you’ve done in the past. If this is true for you, there might be a sense of disappointment. Still, it doesn’t have to ruin your family’s holiday season. So, be realistic about what you can do. Make a list of what you can do and prioritize your most important events and activities for you and your family. Then, pace yourself. Organize your time. Keep in mind that it’s the holiday “season” (not “day”) and spread out your activities to lessen stress and increase enjoyment.

2. Remember the holiday season does not eliminate sadness or loneliness. Problems and difficulties arise even during the holiday season. And, for some, the holiday season evokes painful memories from recent events or the loss of loved ones in the past. Give room for yourself and your family to experience these feelings. Try not to let them become a consuming focus. Make an effort to work through present challenges and conflicts.

3. Acknowledge the past, but look toward the future. Life brings changes. Each season of life is different. Determine to enjoy this holiday season for what it is. Acknowledging the past, whether it was good or bad, is appropriate. But, if you find that this year has been a rough one and you don’t anticipate having the best holiday season ever, try not to set yourself up by comparing today with the “good old days.” Take advantage of the joys the present holiday season has to offer.

4. Develop and encourage a life of gratitude. Gratitude is an attribute that transcends circumstances. No matter what your circumstances, I believe there is reason to be thankful in them. Your circumstances may never change, but your attitude toward them can change…and this can make all the difference. Christians have a special reason to adopt the attitude of gratitude, because we know that whatever comes, our times are in God's hands. It was Jesus who said, in effect, "So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow, too." (See Matthew 6:34.)

If you want to help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude, I encourage you to try an experiment that might radically influence your family, and it’s a great exercise in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s called “Thank Therapy.” Thank Therapy is simply focusing on the many things in your life for which you can be thankful. Get started by having each family member create individual lists, of “Twenty Reasons Why I’m Thankful.” Thank Therapy is simply an act of the will to concentrate on the good and not the bad. Share your lists as a family on Thanksgiving Day.

5. Do something for someone else. One of the ways we can demonstrate that we are grateful to God for His many blessings is to help others. Even if this has been a difficult year for you and your family, helping others will actually help you too, as your focus will move from your own circumstances onto serving others. While there are always people who can use a helping hand, this year, I suspect there are many more. So, enrich this holiday season for your family by getting involved in serving others. For some great ideas, read HomeWord’s free online article, “Helping Others at the Holiday Season.”

6. Enjoy activities that are cheap or free. There are many good holiday-related activities that will add to your family’s enjoyment that are either free or low cost, such as driving around to look at holiday decorations, baking Christmas cookies, going window-shopping, or playing in the snow.

7. Enjoy a family holiday tradition. Traditions provide opportunities to keep your family’s legacy going. They create meaningful memories. So, from the silly to the sentimental, if your family has some holiday traditions, if possible, be sure to include them in your holiday activity plans.

8. Try something new. Traditions are great, but sometimes families find themselves celebrating the holidays in exactly the same fashion, year after year. And, this can result in your family experiencing a holiday funk. So, think about finding a new way to celebrate the holiday season this year. You may just create a new tradition that will keep going for generations!

9. Spend money responsibly (especially this year!) The holiday season brings with it a big temptation to spend lots of money especially when it comes to purchasing Christmas presents for your family. Don’t be afraid to say no to this temptation, especially if you’ve been hard hit by the recession. The following is good advice for every family: Don’t spend beyond your means and rack up significant credit card debt! While your family may be thrilled by expensive gifts on Christmas Day, don’t forget that come springtime, your kids may well have laid aside or forgotten those gifts, even while you’re struggling to make the payments. Decide now to be financially responsible this holiday season!

10. Carve out some time for yourself! Don’t take on all of the responsibilities of your family’s holiday celebrations by yourself. Share the load. Create some space during the holidays for you to recharge your own batteries.

Printed by permission of HomeWord. For additional information on Home Word, visit or call 800-397-9725.

For more Christmas Answers - See Christmas Explained - the Real Meaning of Christmas at Christian Answers dotnet.

One More - Check out a great little article - What is the true meaning of Christmas? on Got Questions dotorg.

The most important Christmas Thought - The Christmas Message by Rick Warren - What did Christ do and what does it mean for me?


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