Christmas is a season that comes with lots of celebration, joy, love and gratitude. And as you take time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and the significance of his coming, also think about ways that you can show gratitude this Christmas.
Is Christmas a Time of Gratitude?
While gratitude is an attitude we must cultivate all year round, the Christmas season is a good time to take stock and reflect on those things God has done for you. Moreover, Christmas happens at the end of the year, and this is usually a time where many look back through the year to assess their victories and failures.
Jesus came to save his people from their sins. With his birth came hope, liberation and victory. And the bible says this –
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” which means “God with us”. Matthew 1:23
Christmas time is a great reminder of God’s presence and the hope he brings to the world today. And knowing that God is always with you can help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude irrespective of what you maybe going through.
7 Ways to Show Gratitude this Christmas
What are those things that you are grateful for this Christmas season? I remember while growing up, Christmas was always a time of the year I looked forward to. Perhaps the happiness in the air, the togetherness of family and the joy of giving made Christmas very special in my child-like eyes.
But as I grew older, I began to appreciate the birth of Jesus as God’s gift given to save humanity. I also learnt to be grateful because there were times when Christmas looked gloomy, and we still chose gratitude as a family. Today, as Christmas approaches, I think of hope, kindness, compassion, blessings, faith and love. All of these reflect who Jesus is when you have an encounter with him.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
So, in what ways can you show gratitude this Christmas. Remember that this season may look different for some who are dealing with grief or walking through a difficult time. However, choosing to find reasons to be grateful is that which keeps you going amidst the pain, trauma and difficulty.
Here are 7 Great Ways to Show Gratitude this Christmas
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
Nothing beats pouring your heart out using words. The art of writing down the things you are grateful for can be liberating and bring healing. Writing out specifically those things you are grateful for in your life will help you see and embrace the good and positive.
You can take a moment this season and write in your gratitude journal those things you are truly grateful for this year. Simply get your journal, find somewhere quiet, be specific and write in a no-holds barred manner. You can start with a lesson learnt this year, someone you are glad to have in your life or some news that made you smile.
2. Write an Appreciation Note
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated – William James
Has someone impacted your life in a positive way this year? Who is that person that has been helpful to you in recent times? This is a great season to appreciate that person, family member, friend or colleague at work.
Sometimes, it is so easy to overlook or downplay the faithful acts of service that go on around you every single day. People like teachers, nannies, security guards and waiters deserve to be appreciated too. Take a moment this season to say ‘thank you’ to that person. Appreciating others is one great way to show gratitude.
3. Give a Thoughtful Gift
There is someone out there who has probably never received a gift at Christmas. Giving a gift isn’t really about the size or cost of the gift, but more about the thoughtfulness and heart of the giver. This Christmas, think of a gift that will be deeply appreciated and give it. Your family – husband, kids and parents should not be left out of this show of love and thoughtfulness this season. It’s a great a way to show how grateful you are for the people and support you have in your life.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
4. Pray for Someone
One good way to show gratitude for the things God has done in your life is to pray and intercede for others going through tough times. Christmas time is a reminder of God’s love for us and how much he wants us to be his outstretched arms of love and hope to others. This season is a great time to spend some time praying for that sick friend, grieving neighbor or that co-worker who is battling depression. As you give God praise for your victories, remember others are trusting God for their own victories. Be that person who will pray for and with them.
5. Pay the Kindness Forward
You may have heard the phrase ‘pay it forward’ at one point in your life. Is there an act of kindness shown to you that has remain etched in your memory? And every time you think about that act, you feel a deep sense of gratitude. Why not pay it forward and let someone else share in the joy of gratitude this season.
Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice. – Derrick Carpenter
6. Be an Encourager
Perhaps, you have had your own share of down times when the world around you looked very dark. And then someone spoke a word of faith, held your hands, gave you a hug and said everything was going to be fine. You never forgot that word and remain grateful for the encouragement given in that season of your life. It’s Christmas time, show some gratitude by being a pillar of encouragement to someone in this season.
7. Tell God How Much You Love Him
Has God been good to you? I love the words of this Psalm.
Bless the LORD, O my soul; all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all His kind deeds. He who forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with loving devotion and compassion, who satisfies you with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-4
God wants to hear your voice and listen to you tell him how much you love and appreciate him. And beyond the things he does for you, he longs for a closer relationship with you. Have you ever said the words – ‘I love you’ to God? Now is a great time to say it as you show him gratitude for his faithfulness and love in your life.
In what others ways will you show gratitude this Christmas.