Savoring The Season (and a Giveaway!)

Female holding cup of coffee on wooden table near christmas gifts

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s so much more than brightly wrapped gifts, and twinkling lights. It’s more than the carols that we sing and the perfect photo opts.

Growing up, Christmas meant family. When I was younger, my family and extended family would all gather at my parents’ home. We would sit in front of the fire, feast on sugar by way of candy canes and freshly baked cookies. We sang carols, played board games and just enjoyed being together. It wasn’t important if there were a lot of gifts under the tree. It wasn’t important if we were dressed to a tee. What was important is that we were together.

This year, I want to bask in the glory of all that Christmas is — the awe and wonder, joy and laughter, the bringing together of friends and family, all who come to delight in the presence of the One who is worthy to receive the gift of our hearts.

Savor: relishenjoy (to the full)appreciatedelight inrevel inluxuriate inbask in.

In order to fully appreciate all that this season has to offer, I must slow down. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. I run from here to there, checking things off my list and seeking out the perfect gift. But I don’t want to miss Him. I must be purposeful and intentional in creating room for Him.

Here are just a few, random ways that I am savoring the season this year:

Finding joy in small giving.  Gift-giving will be small this year (not that we’ve ever gone over the top), but it’s helping me to align my heart with what truly matters. I may not be able to give a lot of material things, but I can give my time, my heart, and my ear to someone in need. When I choose to see that the gift is truly in the giving of myself to others, it helps me to realize that there is One who came lowly and humble and gave Himself just for me. Wrapped up in that small gift of a babe in a manger was an entire lifetime of love, joy and peace. I wonder what blessings await others in my small giving.

Advent.  I bought a Jesse Tree this year and am being more purposeful in learning about the journey of Christ’s birth. Each night I hang an ornament on my little tree that reminds me that Jesus was from the very beginning of time. As I take the time to intentionally slow down and study the genealogy of Christ, it is helping me to bask in the glory of creation and how God came for all of humanity, how he wants for all to come to Him.

Baked Goodness.  I am not a baker by nature, but I love making a few different types of cookies during Christmas, especially the ones I helped my mom make when I was younger. I love the way the house smells when the baked goods come out of the oven. The smells and tastes of Christmas help me to realize that God is good, always. I’ve tasted and I’ve seen His goodness in so many ways. He does not disappoint. Even the stings of life are overcome by His goodness.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8 ESV)

Slow Sipping.  There will be lots of coffee and hot chocolate to be had. There is something about the slow sipping and how the warmth hits my stomach and makes me feel alive, nurtured and all warm and cozy. There is so much in life to be enjoyed. The slow savoring of a hot beverage says, “Come, breathe Him in, let love warm your heart.”

I pray that you will find ways to savor the season of Christmas this year.

BookCover_finalI’d like to help you with that by offering one reader a copy of my book, Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats With The Savior. These are love letters from the heart of God to His daughters. They are short, but are meant to be read slowly and contemplatively. All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this post and answer this question:

What is one way you will slow down and savor the season?

The giveaway will remain open until 9PM (PST) on Sunday, December 14th. At that time, I will draw a winner at random and notify the winner via email. (*U.S. and Canada only. Winner must have a valid email address.)

7 Responses to Savoring The Season (and a Giveaway!)
  1. Carrie
    December 8, 2014 | 11:58 am

    Completely relate, Barbie! I too am slowing way down this year but it wasn’t my choice – it is all His! I won’t be buying many gifts either and told the girls we would take it easy on Christmas morning…just enjoying and savoring the day. We have some favorite traditions the six of us – Christmas Eve service, takeout Chinese and reading recorded books made for us by out-of-state family members. And Christmas morning always includes warm cinnamon rolls! Glad I joined you on the Advent readings!

  2. Rosann
    December 9, 2014 | 8:08 am

    Barbie, your words always inspire and encourage my heart! I’ve been somewhat frantic the past few days trying to decide who to buy gifts for and what those gifts should be. I never once stopped to think about the gift of my time. Of giving myself! That has taken such a huge weight off my shoulders. Thank you for such a powerful reminder that the best gifts are those you can’t put a price tag on. (((Hugs)))

  3. Susie Klein
    December 9, 2014 | 11:32 am

    OH oh pick me pick me! Haha! Like Carrie, my slowing down is not really my doing at all. As an empty-nestor the slowness of recent holidays is actually becoming a bit annoying to me. After so many years of ministry when the holidays were crazy-busy, it is now at a complete stand-still.
    I am ready for multiple grandkids and a houseful of activity again!
    So to answer your question, maybe my “savoring” needs to be an acceptance of this season of life and seeing my God even in the quiet.

  4. Michelle
    December 10, 2014 | 7:07 pm

    I love to pick one relaxing Christmas event that hubby and I can do together.
    On December 7th we spent an evening with Ann Voskamp.
    It was so spiritually enriching. Both of us were very touched.
    Thank you for the chance to win your book.

    Merry Christmas!!

  5. Marie
    December 10, 2014 | 7:34 pm

    I bet this book will be awesome!!

    🙂 @spreadingJOY


  6. Angie B.
    December 10, 2014 | 11:57 pm

    Christmas is my favorite time of the year also! I always do my best to make Christmas the time of year that I relax, celebrate, and truly appreciate the reason for the season. One of my traditions is to watch The Nativity Story (numerous times)! 😉

  7. Mary Dolan Flaherty
    December 12, 2014 | 8:11 am

    Hi Barbie, nice to see you here. I’m making all these new friends in Blogland, and it’s so cool to see how they all connect! One of the ways that I’ve slowed down this year is to say no. Every year for the past, I don’t know…maybe 3 or 4…years, I’ve been involved in the church play (grudgingly..because I’m one of the few people in the church who is actually an actor, I get roped into it every year). Every year I tell Hubster that I’m not going to do it, and every year I feel bad and help. This year, I decided that I was going to say no. Turns out, they decided not to do anything!(that was easy!) I was also the “entertainment” last year for our ladies’ function (didn’t get asked this year, because no one wants to see the same person all the time!). I almost volunteered to be a part of another church’s ladies gathering, and stopped myself. While it feels good to be wanted, I reminded myself of my “covenant.” I was asked to sing a duet with someone in church, and while I said yes, this person wanted extra rehearsals; I said no. It feels very awkward, but it’s right for me right now, and it feels pretty good. It’s something that I’ve been practicing all year, without really realizing it. By slowing down, our senses are more aware of the needs around us. Thanks for sharing, Barbie. This is a new site for me–and I was equally surprised and happy to see Deb here!