December is not just the 12 month or the last month in the year, it also triples as a month of celebrations and festivities because of Christmas (the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ). During these festivities that take place at year end, lots of people get carried away with the desire/impulse to impress folks or prove to peers that they have made much money during the year so they spend/squander their hard earned year’s income/savings in a couple of weeks or even days. They forget that after Christmas and Year End comes another New Year which implies new bills to be paid in several areas – house rent, shop rent, school fees, water bill, light bill, etc. Some travel during this season and spend so much that they now have to borrow money to return to their base – silly and laughable but some will still make such mistakes this year… Well, except they read this e-Boost and make some necessary adjustments.
For me, December should be a time to reflect, take stock of events of the outgoing year and make necessary adjustments to end the year well/transit smoothly into the coming year; it shouldn’t be a time for extravagant spending. Christmas on the other hand should be a time to reflect on and work on our relationship with the reason for the season – Jesus Christ; it shouldn’t be a time to spend money and time in events that take us farther away from our Saviour. Christmas should also be an opportunity to show love, give gifts and spend quality time with family, loved ones and more importantly, the less privileged (e.g. orphans, widows, etc.) who have little or no loved ones to share the beautiful season with.
It’s another December/Christmas season and I put together these 5 timeless tips that will help us end the year well, enjoy the season/festivities and still sail smoothly into the New Year, debt free.
- Take stock of the year and count your blessings – In spite of the numerous thanksgiving posts and #ThanksgivingChallenge on and off the social media, it is still quite easy to slip into ingratitude mode when you think about underachieved goals/plans or even losses encountered during the course of the year.
One great thing to do in this season is to write down all the prayer points you had this year, tick all the ones that have been answered; write a second list containing all the things you didn’t pray for this year but God on His own graciously provided them for you. Also put down all the near misses God saved you from. Don’t forget to note the prayers that were not answered but now you look back, you’re actually grateful God didn’t answer them.
The essence is to help you take stock of the year and count your blessings. Lots of people that stepped into 2016 with you and I are dead today. Among them are billionaires, preachers, scholars, soldiers, the strong and mighty, royalties, etc. But you and I are still here. Remember a living dog is always better than a dead lion (Ecclesiastes 9:4) – Be GRATEFULL!
- Have a budget for your shopping and other expenditure – Trust me, now is not a time to try to impress people with buying the latest car, gadget, shoes, jewellery or clothing. Now is the time to take a close look at your income/savings and determine how much will be safe aka WISE to expend on Christmas shopping and other expenditure you need to make in this season.
Your budget should prioritize what is important e.g. food stuffs (very important), transportation (if you’re travelling) and other very essential things. Your budget should also eliminate things that can wait till a later time e.g. expensive gadget or hairstyle, particularly if your income/savings can’t comfortably accommodate that want at the moment, emphasis on WANT.
- Spend quality time with family and loved ones – I know some will not have the luxury of some holiday in this season but the most of us (I believe) will have a day or two off work. Please carve out time to spend quality moments with your family and loved ones. Whether you do so outdoors or indoors is a matter of choice. Whichever you choose, do make sure your family and loved ones don’t have a valid reason to complain of not having your attention in this season… Now is a season to create cherished moments and memories that last forever. (Lost my beloved uncle in April 2014 and the last time I saw him was Christmas of 2013, these are the fondest and most cherished memories I have of him…).
- Visit the homeless and less privileged – While we have family and loved ones to spend/share the season with, some others are not so fortunate. Please create some time to visit the homeless, orphans, widows and other less-privileged people in this season. An orphanage home is a good place to take your family to – y’all will spend time together putting smiles on other peoples’ faces. Went to one two weeks ago with some friends from Secondary school and the feeling is – PRICELESS.
- Have a personal retreat with the reason for the season – This for me is the most important thing to do in this season. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, so now is a perfect time to evaluate our relationship with and spend quality time with Christ, the reason for the season; every other thing we do in in this season is secondary. If you can, go on some retreat away from home. Spend quality time thanking God for the out-going year, rededicate your life to Him and download His purpose and vision for you in the in-coming year. If you’re in Abuja, “Alone With God Camp” Kwali is a very good venue. You may not have to spend the whole the day there, but the environment and atmosphere will definitely help you concentrate and communicate with God as the environment is already soaked and charged with prayers – 24/7, individuals and groups are making prayers on that ground. Went there for the first time over the weekend with some friends and the experience is something I still can’t aptly put into words! My God! Going there is by far the best decision I’ve taken this year. The experience is definitely a memorial I‘ll have for the rest of my life.
Growing up, I didn’t quite understand why my parents insist we all fast and pray on any date between 26 – 31 December, as our own yearly family retreat where we celebrate God’s faithfulness in the outgoing year and at the same time dedicate the incoming year to God before it arrives. So grateful for that foundation ‘cause it makes a whole lot of sense now that I understand it better.
So instead of just wining and dining with family and friends in this period, separate a day or more to fast and pray, personally or with your family. Thank God for the outgoing year, rededicate your life to Him and download divine vision and purpose for the incoming year. Now is also the time to do spiritual warfare and secure the New Year before it comes. Will definitely be having some more personal and family retreat with God, in the season.
Bonus Tip: Now is also the time to read all those books you’ve been piling up, promising to read them before end of 2016. 2016 has less than 12 days to go so Sweetie, get reading!
Yours Sincerely is guilty as well. Got more than a couple of books I gotta finish before end of year #SoHelpMeGod.
Your turn sweeties, what other helpful tips do you know that can help us maximize the Christmas season? Please share with us in the comment box.
PS: The blog is loaded with lots of goodies this Christmas season:
- The SFF Series kicks off this Thursday (22 December)
- Christmas Giveaway packages coming up on Sunday (25 December)
- and lots of other good tidings.
Now is the time to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t done so already hunnay.
God bless you all so much for staying with me from January till date. I love you much and pray that God fills your lives and homes with pleasant surprises in this season and beyond.
PPS: Don’t forget to share darlings 😘😘😘