My Top 10 Things to Spur on JOY {Masterpiece Weekend}

1)            Head outside and make a snowperson (or if you don’t have snow, just head outside — fresh air has a way of clearing the brain and decluttering the heart).

2)            Find your favorite apron and cookbook, and bake some cookies.

3)            Make yourself a cup of tea, grab your bible and read Luke 2 by the fire (or your furnace — wherever the warmest place is in your house). Slippers may also be utilized.

4)            Stare at your Christmas tree and absorb its beauty for 10 minutes solid. Breathe in the evergreen freshness (or if you have an artificial tree, imagine the smell while enjoying the lack of pine needles). Refrain from looking at the bare parts under the tree where you have yet to place presents.

5)            Listen to your fave peaceful Christmas album all the way through (save the peppy ones for Christmas baking).

6)            Take a drive by yourself and look at all the pretty Christmas lights. (This is a great time to ponder how Jesus is the Light of the World. Notice the beauty of all the sparkling festive lights in contrast to the night’s inky darkness.)

7)            Make a special mama concoction of hot chocolate and marshmallows, maybe with a hint of candy cane. (Please note: This is not to share).

8)            Partake in a spontaneous family game night.

9)            Grab a fuzzy blanket and watch your favorite Christmas movie. Add popcorn for pleasure and flavor.

10)          Read a Christmas book from when you were a child. Then share it with your children. (I cannot guarantee they won’t laugh at the old school illustrations. But it’s part of the legacy.)

Part of spurring joy into action is learning to pause long enough, where we can truly enjoy what’s taking place – in our homes and in our hearts. (See Monday’s post for more on Learning to Embrace CHRISTmas (with Joy, Grace, and Childlike Wonder).

For in the slowing, in the rest, we find the root of JOY: Jesus. As we look at His creation, enjoying the family He’s blessed us with, listening to songs telling of His birth and declaring His promises, we find the purpose of this season. The remembering. The celebration. The proclamation. The GIFT!

Take time today to find your joy. And when the lost has been found, share it. The more you give it away, the more He overflows our hearts with more joy.

Here’s a few more fun ideas for your family this Christmas:

–       Candy Cane Craft (with pipe cleaners and beads) — It’s a great way to chat with your children about the Christmas story. If you haven’t read Legends of the Candy Cane, find a copy today. I think you’ll enjoy it. (Think salvation – red for blood, white for cleansing of sins, J is for Jesus, shepherd staff…)

–       Giant 3D Snowflakes — A visual reminder of the wonder of His creation.

–       Cookies & Snowy Treats — As you cook your way and lick your fingers to delectable sweetness, remember: We were not meant to be cookie cutter version of one another. We are one of a kind. A masterpiece.

–       Watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas. (My favorite part is when Linus quotes Luke 2. Best ever!)

–       Read Holley Gerth’s post: Help When Christmas is Stressing You Out. (Amen and amen.)


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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  1. Christina says

    love this list, I especially enjoy reading children’s Christmas books. Last night I read from Little House on the Prairies to my daughter and was struck by the simple joy described in their Christmas.

    • says

      Simple joy. Love this! It’s how I imagine the first Christmas looked. Somehow we’ve turned Christmas into more of a circus than a celebration of the Savior. Slowing down can be hard, huh. But so necessary. May His PEACE cover you and your family as you seek out, soak up, and generously share the simple joys this season!

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