I have a love hate relationship with Christmas.  The things that I love about Christmas are time spent with family, decorating the house, and remembering the gift of life and salvation found in Jesus.

The things I hate about Christmas are the intense pressure to buy gifts, the insane battle to keep “Christ in Christmas”, and the busyness that surrounds the holiday.  Every year we strive to capture the perfect Christmas holiday, and every year it seems to fall short of our expectation.

At Becoming Minimalist Joshua Becker has a post reminding us to keep the main thing the main thing at Christmas.

“Focus is often a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.” – John Carmack

Growing up, my Christmas Eves were simple—and wonderful.

Because my grandfather was a pastor (and still is), every Christmas Eve, we would pile into our family car, drive through the South Dakota snow, and attend Candles and Carols at the church on Melgaard Road. Following the service, all the relatives would cram into my grandparent’s small house. We would eat. We would each open 1-2 presents. And make some of the most beautiful memories of my childhood.

Our Christmas was simple and wonderful. I wouldn’t change anything about it. In fact, I think it was wonderful because it was simple. It kept our main thing the main focus of the holiday.

Church came first. Always. Everything else came afterwards… and only as there was room for it. The less important was secondary and never allowed to press out the most important reason of our season.

Continue reading Keeping Your Main Thing the Main Thing During the Holidays

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