December 1, 2023

Aiming For an Uncomplicated Christmas

Written by Pat Elsberry

When you begin to feel the stirrings of unrest within your heart, take all those cares to the feet of our Heavenly Father.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 1, 2023

Guest Writer Pat Elsberry

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Here we are in December, the month deemed the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. While I love the Christmas season, I know this isn’t always true for everyone, especially those missing loved ones. Although it’s not always eagerly discussed, this month tends to bring many feelings other than wonder and joy.

For some, this may be the first year without your loved one, and you dread the holiday. Although this may not be the first for others, you’re experiencing many different emotions about celebrating Christmas without your loved one. If anyone hasn’t told you – this is all perfectly normal, and it’s okay to not be okay.

So, what does it mean to have an uncomplicated Christmas? It means you should do whatever feels right and good to you this year. Perhaps it means you don’t decorate as much, or maybe you don’t overschedule yourself for all those holiday parties. Or, maybe it means you focus more on the meaning of this season, the birth of our Savior, Jesus, and less on what the world thinks Christmas should be. 

When you begin to feel the stirrings of unrest within your heart, take all those cares to the feet of our Heavenly Father, our rock and the only One who can truly heal our hearts. He already knows how you’re feeling, so who are we kidding if we try to keep it all bottled up? We can do many things with all those feelings – we can ignore them, act on them negatively, or try to make beauty from the ashes.

Each Christmas since my daughter has been in Heaven, one of the things I’ve found that brings me comfort and joy is to serve others. Being His hands and feet, bringing the love and joy of Jesus to others has made a significant impact in my own life, not just those we choose to serve. Remember what Paul tells us in Acts – it truly is better to give than receive.

Even though we will always miss those no longer with us, we can still aim for an uncomplicated yet joyful Christmas and the inner peace it brings. I will enjoy the beautiful twinkling of the lights on the trees in our home and watch some of the silly and predictable Christmas movies. Spending an uncomplicated Christmas may be different, but different is okay. I hope you will consider joining me – step out and dare to be different, too. 

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:8).


Father, thank you for giving me the courage to follow my heart during this season when expectations can run high, and everyone thinks all is merry and bright. I look to you to give me the peace that surpasses all understanding and for holding my heart close to yours when I need it.


Consider a person or organization you could bring hope and love to this holiday season and serve them well.

Related Reading

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; Philippians 4:13; Matthew 5:4; Joshua 1:9

Worship Resource

CeCe Winans: Worthy of it All


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