Three thoughts for the weekend

While I’m still enjoying the turkey leftovers, Thanksgiving is definitely in the rearview mirror and Christmas is on the horizon. As I was thinking about the month of December and celebrating the birth of our Savior, I thought of three activities that will be a part of my Christmas celebration and might help you keep ‘The Reason for the Season’ in focus.

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Bless a total stranger this Christmas: Over the past couple of years, my family has done Christmas Light awards in our town. We visit a local trophy shop and each of us has a trophy made with our name. (AJ’s trophy read, “The Castaneda Family Christmas Light Trophy: The AJ Award” etc…) Then for about two weeks, we would drive around looking at beautiful light displays and making notes of which ones we liked best. When the night arrived, each of us chose one house and presented them with a trophy and a plate of baked goods.

The responses we’ve received make it all worth the effort. People just don’t know what to do with their trophy, but all of them are thankful. Often we hear stories of Christmas traditions, we are invited in to houses and shown special decorations and interior lighting, and we’ve been given baked goodies in return. Blessing a total stranger is a great way to keep Jesus at the center of your celebration.

Serve in a shelter this Christmas: Some years ago my family started the tradition of serving breakfast burritos while handing out scarves, socks and jackets to the homeless on Christmas morning. So before we enjoy any of our regular family celebrations, we bundle up, head out to nearby location and minister to those with bigger needs than ours. My parents, my siblings and all the kids and grandkids participate in this simple ministry that warms hearts and stomachs on Christmas day.

Attend a Christmas Eve service at church: There are so many events and programs pulling for your time at Christmas, but make sure one of the activities that wins is a Christmas Eve service at a nearby church. Many churches offer “candlelight” services where the old Christmas carols and hymns are sung, and where the story of Jesus’ birth is told. Attending a service where the music is beautiful, the sharing is rich and the story of Jesus is conveyed is a powerful way to celebrate Christmas.

I hope you enjoy your traditions this Christmas, and I hope you maybe create some new ones. Most of all, I hope you remember that the foundation for the Overboard Life is found in the person of Jesus. He entered this world as a baby and grew to become the Lamb of God — the perfect sacrifice able to pay the eternal price for our sins. Celebrate Him this Christmas.

Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!

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