Living the Joy of Christmas All Year
There is a famous line in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol you may know. Ebenezer Scrooge proclaims, “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year!” as his redemption unfolds.
Doesn’t that proclamation sound nice?
Christmas for many is a joyous time. The season brings nostalgia and warm memories from timeless holiday traditions. Christmas decorations, trees, and lights provide delight and cheer. Festive parties, tasty foods, presents, and family gatherings generate anticipation and excitement. Plus, who could forget all those classic Christmas movies and songs playing on full blast?
Yet Christmas eventually comes to an end. The decorations get put away, and we go back to our normal rhythms and routines. This holiday letdown leaves many saying, “I wish Christmas could last all year!”
Well, we have some good news. There are ways you can live the joy of Christmas all year long, well after the lights and ornaments disappear. These principles are rooted in the joy that Christ gives us as his followers. This joy is more than seasonal traditions, events, and presents. It’s an abiding joy that lasts!
Read on to see practical ways you can keep Christmas going all year, so the familiar holiday joy you love can continue every day.
Celebrate Jesus throughout the year
While the gifts, decorations, and movies make Christmas fun, Christ is the real reason we celebrate each December. We remember how Christ came down to earth born as a baby for us, so that through him we can live (Matthew 1:21). This truth is profound and worth celebrating all year.
This Christmas, make time to remember the birth of Christ. Spend time with Jesus and be thankful and filled with joy. Psalm 16:11 says we are filled with joy in his presence.
As we keep celebrating Jesus once Christmas ends, we can keep finding joy in his presence all year. The joy that Christ can only give isn’t seasonal or based on circumstances. It remains with us at all times. Make time to celebrate Jesus and live out your joy at Christmas and every day of the year.
Live with a heart of gratitude
As we take part in holiday traditions, we’re reminded of the simpler joys in life. Our hearts brim with gratitude for things that really matter, like faith, family, community, and rest. With this gratitude, we appreciate what we have, while what we don’t have fades into the background.
Why can’t this heart of gratitude extend throughout the year? In 2 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we’re called to give thanks in all circumstances. Even with life’s busy distractions, we can still choose to appreciate the things God has given us, beyond the holiday season.
Give to others
For most of us, Christmas is often filled with giving and receiving presents. We buy gifts for our family, our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, and even our kids’ teachers.
Giving someone a Christmas gift they love warms the heart. Yet a lifestyle of generosity beyond holiday gift-giving can bring joy year-round. Proverbs 11:25 reminds us that a generous person will prosper, and whoever refreshes others will also be refreshed.
Throughout the year, keep the season of giving alive by maintaining an outward focus. Give your time, your money, and your resources. You’ll get many opportunities to give if that’s your focus. The joy of giving will continue to warm your heart.
Spend time with the ones you love
At Christmas we make time for our families, taking off work to enjoy rest, fun, and festivities with the ones we love. We (hopefully) turn off our work phones and slow down, making treasured memories together.
Then life picks back up after the holidays and schedules get busy again. While some of this is inevitable, choose to make time with your loved ones a priority throughout the year. Block off time on your calendars if you must. As you do, you’ll live in joy together with those who matter most.
Rejoice in hope
As we celebrate Jesus at Christmas, we’re reminded of the glorious future we have in Christ, when he will return for us one day. This gives us hope, and that hope doesn’t have to turn off once we stop hearing “Joy to the World” over the holidays.
In Romans 5:2, Paul tells us to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. He doesn’t tell us to do this only in December. Later, in Romans 12:12, Paul tells us again to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.
Throughout the year, difficult and painful times may come. The happy feelings of Christmas may fade quickly. The hope we have in Christ, which we’re so often reminded of at Christmas, remains constant. If we continue to rejoice in that hope, the joy of Christmas can stay with us all year.
Let’s find joy as we look to Jesus this Christmas season, and let’s keep living out that joy all year long. We know this can be challenging to do on your own. At Abundant Life we want to walk alongside you on this journey of joy, from January to December.