Choose Peace This Holiday Season

Many of us have a lot of expectations around the holiday season that can lead to stress in our lives. This year, choose peace. Learn more in this brief video.

Full Video Transcript (Transcription by Victoria Barkley)

Do you have a lot of expectations about what the holidays should be like? Do you have memories of what they were and trying to re-create what it was in the past?

I want to say something that may be a little controversial: Holidays, Christmas Day, doesn’t have any inherent meaning—we give it meaning. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. He was born in the spring. Should a minister be saying that? Probably not, but you know, let’s put it in perspective ladies and gentlemen. There are people who build up the (you know) the holiday so much and they have such expectations of what it should be like (and it should be perfect and this and that…) and then they get depressed and stressed out. We don’t have to. It can have the meaning that we choose for it to have. It can be a peaceful holiday. It can be a joyful holiday. It can remind us of the birth and message of Jesus Christ. It can be a time of connecting, and love and fellowship. But it doesn’t have to be overly built up and depressing for us. We give it the meaning.

Every day can be a day of the birth of Christ within us. Every day is a Christmas Day if we remember to make it so. Every moment is a day of Christmas Day. I love the holiday season! I love it! I love the lights. I love the music. I like the family gatherings. I like the clothes. I like all of it. I love it! But I know that it’s because of what’s happening in me. It’s not what’s happening out there. So, consider your expectations. Consider, accepting as it comes, and bringing joy and peace to whatever occurs. Consider doing an inventory of your expectations of the holidays. And inventory those things that you don’t like doing during the holidays.

Is there anything you don’t like doing during the holidays? What do you not like doing during the holidays? Oh, what do you not like doing during the holidays? Writing all those Christmas cards. Who said we have to write Christmas cards, right? I understand that if you don’t want to write Christmas cards, we don’t have to write Christmas cards.

One lady decided not to send Christmas cards during Christmas and she didn’t do it. And she thought uh oh, people are not going to like it and people (her friends) still loved her. And she wondered if it had made any difference at all, after the fact. She had more time. She felt freer. And she picked up the phone and called the people who were really important to her for the holiday season. If you want to send Christmas cards, send them, enjoy. But if you don’t, you don’t have to.

How about gift-giving? In some countries they don’t give gifts during the holiday season. Yeah, but the three wise men brought three gifts to Jesus. Well, the Bible doesn’t say three wise men. Maybe there were three hundred wise men. You don’t have to interpret it literally, you know. However, you don’t have to interpret it literally.

Some people don’t give gifts during the holidays, they give peace of mind. They give love. They give joy. They give companionship, you know. I am not saying don’t give gifts. You know, your little four year old boy has been looking forward to a gift…no, a little different, right? But it’s a choice…it’s a choice of what we do during the holidays. It doesn’t have to be stressful.