So what do you do when it’s Christmas time, but you only want to punch the next innocent Christmas greeter in the larynx? Or drop kick the bell ringers bell across the parking lot, whether it helps an angel get its wings or not? I mean, that’s not the extreme I’m at, don’t call me with concern, I’m only joking. Though both scenarios offer a funny mental picture, I hope I never actually see either happen. But seriously, what do we do when we just aren’t “feeling” it? Not even Mariah Carey’s ever present “All I Want For Christmas Is You” helps do the trick. Or maybe you’re one of those Christmas monsters that hates that song because you’re all dead inside 😂. Anyway, I’m being dramatic, but I really want to know.Below are several of my tried and true tricks to enjoy the season. I recognize not all (or any) of them may work for you, so I’d love to hear what you agree with, and what you’d like to add. Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone! Only (fill in blank) more days to go! I’ll try to keep this short…In no particular order these are things I try doing when It doesn’t feel like Christmas…

1. I look to my kids, and listen.

I don’t know how they do it, but they have a perpetual joy and expectancy about life. I think it’s because they keep it simple and they’re not afraid to be enthusiastic about what they love. There’s a refreshing lack of pretense. So, if you aren’t “feeling” it…watch your kids, let them influence you. Also, if you don’t have kids make sure you ask before staring at someone else’s. Don’t be creepy! Haha.

2. I Make a Christmas playlist and blast it.

Have no shame in listening to what you grew up with. Whatever takes you back or helps get you in the Christmas spirit, listen to it. If it’s Mariah, or *NSYNC, or Hanson, Bing, Buble, or Michael W. Smith. Blast it. Music has a way of getting me there when I don’t feel it. 3. I try to Find a need, and meet it.

Find someone to surprise by serving them. Buying gifts can be fun, but sometimes the joy can get sucked out of it when it’s essentially swapping $20 value gifts. Presents are fine, but I find that actually physically serving someone helps me take my thoughts and eyes off of me. Volunteer at church to give the regular kids ministry workers a week off. Volunteer to feed the homeless. Observe who in your family needs extra help, and serve them without having to be told. Our time given is a rare commodity, bless someone with some of yours.

4. I Watch a Christmas movie with a hot drink.

I live in Florida, so rare is it cold during Christmas…turn the AC really cold and drink some coco while watching a family favorite. Also, if you’ve never seen It’s A Wonderful Life or A Charlie Brown Christmas, then I highly recommend that you do. A nice sappy hallmark movie can blast some of the cynicism away too if you’ll let it.

5. I refocus on Jesus by slowing down.

Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, listening to Christmas music, and serving others help facilitate this one. As cliche as it is, remember the real reason for the season. Christmas devoid of Christ, or lived at breakneck speed will leave us wanting. The glitter of the coolest and newest gadgets will fade, but Jesus will remain. Don’t forget that the Giver is the greatest gift. So slow down, spend time with the people you love. Play a game. Read a book. Work on a puzzle. Put the phone away, and look each other in the eye.

Alright, that’s a few of mine…how about you? I’d love to hear your tips/tricks!

Merry Christmas!