DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I know Christmas is still weeks away, but I’m already dreading it. For us it’s just one hassle after another, plus spending money on relatives we almost never see. I know I shouldn’t feel like this, but I can’t help it. How can I change my attitude? — M.M.
DEAR M.M.: I suspect many readers could echo your complaint. Christmas has become so busy and commercial today that it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. And in the midst of all the activity, we easily lose sight of its true meaning.
Of course, it shouldn’t be this way. As I read your letter, I couldn’t help but think of the words to one of our most beloved Christmas carols: “Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright.”
How different Christmas is for us today! Instead of focusing on the miracle of Jesus’ birth, we find ourselves totally absorbed in things that a year from now may be useless or forgotten.
What can you do? First, set aside time each day as a family to focus on Jesus. Read together the prophecies of his coming from the Old Testament and the events surrounding his birth in the New Testament. At Christmas, God came into the world in the person of his son, and your life will never be the same once you understand this.
The angel said, “‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23).
In addition, ask God to help you schedule your time and your money wisely, and to learn to say no to things that aren’t necessary.
Instead take time for things that will help you focus on the real meaning of Christmas, such as a special Christmas concert or church service.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
Tribune Media Services 11/18