Preparing For Christmas
What typically goes into your Christmas preparations? Do you stream lights and inflatables all over the house and yard? Do you go with your family to a tree farm to pick out the perfect tree, cut it down, bring it home, then find out the tree is quite a bit larger than you thought it was so you have to trim it up? Do you get to spend quality time with your family while everyone takes turns putting ornaments on the tree? Do you thoughtfully plan out time to go Christmas shopping so that you can get the perfect gift for everyone on your list? Or maybe you’re like me, and you don’t bother with putting a tree up in your house because you think it is too much work, and you procrastinate on gift shopping so you just impulse buy everyone on your list things you find on the Amazon suggestion page last minute?! Regardless of what your traditions entail as you prepare for Christmas, I hope that things have been stress free and full of joy for you and your family as Christmas rapidly approaches!
As great as this time of year is though, it does come with some high pressure and high stress environments—all of which we bring on ourselves. I think sometimes we loose sight of what our real focus should be on during the Christmas season because of all the societal pressure to give gifts, decorate our homes, and create a beautiful spectacle of wonder (Christmas tree) that we strategically place in an area that provides the most viewing potential for the cars that drive down our street. Culture has truly taken a hold on what Christmas is supposed to represent, and if we are not careful we will fall into the disillusion. Christmas is supposed to be a time of remembrance for us to reflect on the birth of Savior Jesus Christ. If you find yourself getting caught up in hustle and flow of this misrepresentation of Christmas here are few encouragements to help you get refocused!
Read Matthew 2:1-15
ii. Frankincense – symbolic of His role as high priest and intermediary for us
iii. Myrrh – symbolic of His death that was to come
3. During this Christmas season don’t get caught up in giving gifts that have no meaning or make no difference. Give the gift of Godly fellowship to your brothers and sisters in Christ as a means of encouragement! Give your testimony as witness to the lost so that they too can experience the joy and fulfillment of having a relationship with their heavenly Father!
It is easy to get caught up in the showmanship of cultural Christmas, but as believers we know the true reason to celebrate. Rather than having a one person party, take this good news and share with those around you so that this can be the greatest Christmas ever! I would also like to say a huge thanks to Alan Snyder for this post. A little over a week he taught on this and it has helped me shift my focus back to what is truly important and worthy of celebration this Christmas!
We have been very blessed the past few months to have CC working with us here at Camp Ba Yo Ca. I would like to start this post off by saying a massive thank you to CC for all her hard work and for constantly bringing positive energy to camp every time she is here! With today being her last day, I thought it would be a great opportunity for her to share a little about herself and her experience while she has been here. Take it away CC!
My name is Caroline Chace, but I prefer CC. I am a senior majoring in Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee. I love corgis, life, and you can probably find me drinking a RT 44 water from Sonic (what? I like to stay hydrated!). If you didn’t know, I am the intern here at Camp Ba Yo Ca. My daily tasks involve cleaning, answering the phone, and sometimes watching Alan play with firecrackers (I’m not kidding! It happened the first week I was here). I live in Knoxville, so it does take me at least an hour to get to camp, but I’m not complaining because let me tell you, that drive is amazing. Nature is something else!
I have always been a big believer on things happening for a reason. People and things come in and out your life for a reason. Even if it’s for a short time, there was a reason it came across your path. We may not know why at that moment, but we will know at some point in our life. I transferred to the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2015. I knew very little about the university and I HATED THAT COLOR ORANGE (calm down it’s growing on me). I pretty much just packed up my bags and moved. I never really knew why, but something was pulling me to UT. I could’ve transferred to any other school, but for some reason I found myself heading east. Fast-forward to now, I am sitting in Camp Ba Yo Ca’s main office writing a blog (if there are any typos please don’t judge because your girl is not a writer) and about to graduate in a week and a half. It’s crazy to think that two years have flown by! Me transferring happened for a reason! What’s the reason you ask? It led me to some amazing people and opportunities and it lead me to Camp Ba Yo Ca. Not everyday do you get to work with people who are supportive and ready to start the day (if it’s Matthew, he isn’t starting until there is a cup of coffee in his hands). My experience here at Camp has been nothing but amazing. I have met people from Mississippi, Louisiana, and even the family down the street. I’ve learned what all it takes to keep Camp a-running. I’m so grateful for my experience here at Camp and can’t believe that this is my last week! This semester has flown by so fast and I don’t know how I think about that. I want to say thank you to everyone I met here at Camp. You helped make this experience. From firecrackers (Alan) to waking up early to cook for church groups, Camp Ba Yo Ca has been amazing.
Have a fabulous weekend & Go VOLS,