Make the Extra Effort

Yeah, the holidays can leave us more exhausted than we usually are, and sometimes it just seems like the effort isn’t really worth it.  What’s a holiday if we can’t just do nothing?  Why do we feel we have to do anything during the holidays?  Can’t we just have the holiday spirit in our heart and let it be that?  Why do we have to go to the extra effort of “making the season bright” when we feel pretty dull to begin with?

The short answer is that by making the season bright for our families, we will in turn be making it bright for us as well.  No matter how dull we may feel right now, we will feel so much better once we pull out a few Christmas lights.  How can someone look at a Christmas tree and feel anything other than awe and wonder?  We bring the magic of Christmas into our hearts (and open up our hearts for Jesus to fill it with his presence) when we make efforts—no matter how small they are—to participate in the season.

Sure, we could all sit around and do nothing, but what kind of a holiday is that?  We’re going to be sore and stiff from sitting down so much, and we’d only be confirming all the more that laziness makes more laziness.  If we want to feel better, we have to find little ways to spark enthusiasm in our lives—because just as laziness makes more laziness, so enthusiasm makes more enthusiasm.  The more we get into it, the more we get into it.  We’ll have to eventually learn how to turn off the getting-in-the-holiday-spirit faucet!  What a good problem that is!

And true, we don’t have to do anything during the holidays.  We can contribute nothing if we want.  But remember that it’s our own families that will be most affected by that decision.  What child hasn’t enjoyed a spirited holiday?  So if you can’t do it for yourself, then at least do it for your children!  They deserve to have a happy and celebrated holiday!  There is no such thing as fanning the holiday spirit in our heart without also letting it blaze about us.  Children instinctively know this—their first inclination when they feel excitement is to share it!  Let us be like little children this season and express our excitement for the holidays without thinking so much about all the work it involves or how tired we are going to be.  What we will find is that we will be invigorated by all that we do to make the season bright for our family.  It will be well worth the extra effort we put forth!

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