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Keeping the Holidays Sacred

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Author, Sacred Holidays, B&H 2018

CEO/Founder, Sacred Holidays, since 2015

Certified Life Coach

Married, 3 children

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Today the start of the holiday season means endless shopping, eating and wrapping!  This time of year has become chaotic and stressful.  Many of us are torn between our love for the whimsical things of Christmas and our desire to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Becky started Sacred Holidays three years ago.  “I realized I wanted more from the holidays,” she says.  “I was stressed and frustrated at the Christmas eve candlelight service.  I thought, I missed it.  I missed Jesus.”   Becky was unsure how everyone would react when she started making changes to the holiday.  “At first no one really noticed because so much of the change was an internal shift,” she says.  The journey into more meaningful holidays for Becky started with celebrating Advent.  “The first year I was intentional about Advent and trying to focus on celebrating Jesus’ coming, it really didn’t change for anyone else but myself,” she says. Then the next year, Becky had to address the “Santa” issue because her daughter was no longer an infant.  Would we wrap gifts from Santa or leave them unwrapped? is the question Becky’s parents and friends asked.  Becky says the hard part was when they made the announcement that they weren’t doing Santa.  

“What I had noticed is that Christmas was only truly magical for kids ages three to seven and only for as long as they believed in Santa,” she says.  After that, kids play along for younger siblings or cousins and in the teenage years, it feels so different.  “You love the presents, but the magic is gone,” says Becky.  Other than reading Luke chapter 2 and attending Christmas Eve programs and services, her family didn’t attempt much else to make the season about the One who had come.

Fall brings on the season of all things pumpkin.  Becky says while she gets carried away with pumpkin everything, she says Thanksgiving is a holiday that was originally set up to celebrate the harvest of God’s favor, protection and blessing.  Few of us actually celebrate an actual harvest but Becky says it’s a season to count our blessings and celebrate with gratitude with others.  For the month of November, Becky suggests taking a 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge.  Each day, journal about what you are grateful for and then post it on social media.  

This is also the time of year to think about others who will be alone on Thanksgiving.  Consider inviting them to your home, the way Christ has invited us into His home.  Single friends, recently divorced or widowed and even the elderly may be having a tough time so it would be a great opportunity to include them.

While one of their family traditions is to bake sugar cookies on Christmas Eve, Becky says they participate in Advent.  Traditionally Advent begins the four Sundays prior to Christmas day.  You start with five candles and light one on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The final one is lit on Christmas day.  “This practice helps us to visually experience the coming of the Light of the World,” says Becky.  “It reminds us that without Jesus, we would be in total darkness.”  She says the beauty of the candle helps stir a magical feeling inside us.  “The closer I get to His presence, my world lights up,” says Becky.  

Take baby steps.  Her number one recommendation for anyone seeking change for the holidays: participate in an Advent Bible study.  There are many options out there.  “Regardless of whether you choose to do a Bible study or read through the Christmas story, the important thing is to remember that His Word is alive (Hebrew 4:12)” says Becky.  “We simply cannot expect to feel more connected to the Father apart from His Word.”

Becky says her book is meant to be a constant companion and resource.  She covers every holiday from New Year’s Eve to Christmas.  “Each time you use it, it gets richer and richer,” she says.  There are places to journal and add ideas for implementing a tradition for the next year.  “This is how you can make the holiday about Jesus and being super intentional about focusing on Him,” she says.

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Becky Kiser
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