One of the most stressful times of the year is Christmas. How ironic. We celebrate the Prince of Peace, but for some, the holidays are anything but peaceful. One reason is the unrealistic expectation that the day will be celebrated with one, big, happy family. But remember that those relatives who fight all year long probably didn’t take a break at Christmas dinner. The obnoxious uncle or the rebellious teen may have been at their worst with the high tensions of Christmas. Also, there is a lot of pressure to be joyful when in fact life’s circumstances the past year may have made you depressed. The expectation of happiness at Christmas can put a harsh light on someone who has lost a loved one.
Christmas may also exacerbate differences and misunderstandings that already exist in the family. Plus, there is a lot of pressure to get the right gift, one that isn’t too expensive but also doesn’t look cheap. And did the person even like what you got, no matter the price? Add to that loneliness for the person at the Christmas table who didn’t fit in well, the older person whose friends have died, and the teenager who wasn’t around his or her peers. And then there’s the devil who is very active this time of year in ways I’m going to describe. Here are four things the devil does at Christmas. Read this and prevent suffering from a spiritual Christmas hangover.
FOUR THINGS THE DEVIL DOES AT CHRISTMAS
#1-He exploits spiritual oppression, depression, sorrow, and grief. *
*Suicides don’t increase during Christmas, but they shoot up afterwards in January, a delayed response. Watch out!
#2-He encourages commercializing the meaning of the season for the masses. *
*It’s the biggest commercial windfall of the year. Estimates this year are close to $1 trillion!
#3-He tries to turn this holiday season into a time of drunkenness and debauchery. *
*During Christmas liquor sales are up 24% and beer 30%.
#4-He wants to change the joy of the world into the merriment of sin. *
*According to statistics last year, people spent an average of nearly $1000 on gifts, 41% took on debt to do it, and $15.2 billion of gifts were returned as unwanted.
CHRISTMAS IS OVER – NOW PREPARE FOR THE AFTER-HOLIDAY LET DOWN
#1—As you reflect on the family gathering, remember those who offended you whom you need to forgive.
#2—Take stock of the generational curses in your extended family. Think about the all the evils of those gathered around the Christmas feast and determine not to repeat their errors.
#3—Don’t let yourself spiritually be hungover by the thoughtless comments of dysfunctional family members.
#4—Consider any soul ties you have with family members that may still be spiritually hindering you even though you’ve gone separate ways.
There you have it, what you need to do now to prevent a Christmas spiritual hangover. Apply this advice and move on to a New Year, where you can GET FREE IN ’23!