In my neck of the woods, schools will soon be closed for more than two weeks to allow families to celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year. If you’re in that same boat, that means you will soon have 336 hours of free time. Sure, opening gifts, decorating (and eating) Christmas cookies, and taking long naps in the new jammies Aunt Hilda sent will eat up some of that time. But what about the rest of it? Here are six do’s and don’ts for surviving Christmas break.
Do serve others.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet. 4:10).
Grab a pen and a piece of paper. (Don’t worry. I will wait right here!) Make a list of who you can serve with your free time. Start with your family. Then, what about the people in your neighborhood? Someone from church? A friend or acquaintance from school? You’re not asking yourself who deserves to be served or who has served you in the past, but who needs some help and love.
Then, think through how you will serve. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Clean your house from top to bottom without being asked.
- Call a mom and offer to babysit for free so she can grocery shop in peace. (If you’re in Missouri, call me!)
- Bake cookies and take them to someone who is sick or lonely. Your church office will likely have some ideas for who you could visit.
Don’t expect to be served.
Don’t lie on the couch expecting others to serve you just because you’re on a break. Don’t wait around expecting others to call you and then secretly venting when they don’t. You set the bar! Make it a point to go crazy big in thinking about and serving others.
Do catch up on some good reading.
Here are a few posts I’m hoping to find time to read during my Christmas break. What would you add to my list?
- 6 Ways We Experience the Holy Spirit by J.D. Greer
- Forgetfulness by Paul David Tripp
- The “Love Feast” series by Dannah Gresh
You can also spend time surfing our archives. With five years of content and well over 1,000 posts, there’s gold in them thar’ hills. Simply use the search bar at the top of our homepage.
Don’t play mental ping pong.
Pinterest. Facebook. Youtube. Random Google surfing. Back to Pinterest. Facebook again. Twitter. Twitter. Twitter. Youtube.
If you aren’t intentional, you can spend your entire Christmas break surfing endlessly around the Web without reading or watching anything of much value. It’s like eating potato chips all day instead of a steak dinner. Sure, it passes the time and fills you up temporarily, but you’ll be missing the good stuff.
Squeeze your media choices through this filter.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8).
Do make a plan.
I love that the wonder of Christmas is followed up turning the page on a brand new year. With the gift of Jesus’ birth still fresh in our minds, we get to ask, “What gifts can I give God this year?”
Use some of the free brain space created by not having to study algebra and science to develop a plan for the year ahead.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What do I want God to change about me in 2015?
- How do I want God to use me in 2015?
- What would it look like if I lived my life 100% for Christ in 2015?
Christmas break will be gone before you know it. Don’t waste a minute of it! What will you do to make the best of your time off? Leave me a comment below with your answer.