By Kristen Terrette, Crosswalk.com
Depression peaks during December. Christmastime is known for causing extreme anxiety and worry, which is a physical symptom I feel creeping up on me even now.
My dining room table is a wrapping station. Dirty dishes lay in the sink from a recent baking attempt for the neighbors. Supplies clutter my counters for the to-be-baked items going to the kids’ coaches and teachers. And my to-do list continues to grow: last minute gifts, cleaning the house, grocery store runs (yes, multiple places), and writing this article … one about getting into the Christmas spirit ….
You see, God knew exactly what He was doing when I was approved to write on this topic. He was aware that the weight of the season would be pressing down as I sat at my desk to research and type. It was the position He wanted, so I could latch on to these words and allow them to bring peace, love, joy and hope to my soul. It’s my wish that they do this to yours as well.
Here are 10 Inspiring Quotes to Get You in the Christmas Spirit:
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"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah; the Lord." -Luke 2:11
Two things happen when I read this verse. One, I imagine it said in Linus’ voice from A Charlie Brown Christmas. And two, on a more serious note, I always read it with exclamation marks at the end of each statement. Besides Jesus’ death, His birth is the most wonderful gift the world has ever and will ever receive! It should be proclaimed joyfully, with excitement, for all to hear!
And since it’s the Word of God, it’s alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). Therefore, it’s impossible to read, say, or hear without being impacted. Try it. Speak this verse aloud and see if you don’t feel ready to celebrate Christmas! (Notice all the exclamation marks?)
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2. "'What if Christmas,' he thought, 'Doesn't come from a store ... what if Christmas, perhaps, means a bit more?'" -The Grinch (Dr. Suess)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been a popular story since its publication in 1957. Why?
Its themes of love and generosity tap into what we hope for during the holidays. Gift-giving of any kind leaves a satisfaction stemming from our hearts. Putting up decorations for our kids to enjoy brings happiness when we see their faces light up. Welcoming family and neighbors into our homes fills a longing, like a missing puzzle piece finding its place.
What’s more is Jesus is the ultimate example of love and generosity, so if we can find a way to cling to these, we’re bound to get into the spirit of Christmas. If the Grinch, and even Mr. Scrooge, can realize that it’s about more than things, then certainly we can too.
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3. "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world and, behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." -Norman Vincent Peale
If I’m being honest, being an adult at Christmas clouds up this “magic wand” effect. The week before Thanksgiving, our calendars become hectic. By Christmas Eve, most adults are mentally drained and physically exhausted.
But this magic wand effect was true for me as a child. The anticipation of the Christmas Eve candlelight service, then wishing Christmas morning would hurry up because it meant gifts, family, and food, had everything looking more beautiful. I see this in my kids’ eyes now. It’s in the love they have for picking out a Christmas tree, the excitement they get making a gift and wrapping it themselves, the desire to drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights…
May we all see the season as they do—Softer. Beautiful. Perfect.
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4. "I want a Christmas that whispers Jesus." -Ann Voskamp
Wow. This quote makes my heart leap from my chest. We know Jesus can choose to reveal Himself in mighty ways, but this verse reminds us that He also shows up as a gentle Friend.
A whisper is soft and low. It’s not disturbing or disruptive. It doesn’t scare or give us cause to shrink away. It’s also subtle and delicate. It guides, rather than shoves.
Most importantly, to hear a whisper, we must be near to the Whisperer. A desire to have a Christmas where we hear Him in the quiet, underlying heartbeat of the season, would be the very best kind.
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5. "Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something besides ourselves." -Eric Sevareid
I’m selfish. Most of us are. Our broken world caters to this, especially in our first world country. According to one study, we check our phones every six minutes. We feel instantaneous and immediate gratification when there’s a “like”, or better yet, a “love”, on our Facebook posts, or a “retweet” in our Twitter notifications.
But we are not on earth for ourselves. We’re here to bring glory to God and bring people to Him in doing so. The birth of Jesus is a steadfast and yearly reminder of what we should be doing all year⎯focusing on the Great Commission given to us all (Matthew 28:18-20).
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6. "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6
The Son of God, the Savior of the world, was born for us! Hope for all humanity is found in this miraculous birth. The Spirit of Christmas became flesh. This is worthy of praise from every cell in our bodies.
When we lose sight of the heart behind Christmas and the celebrations become stale, recite this verse. Declare Jesus as your Mighty Counselor, Father, and Peace-Giver. Say it with excitement and exclamation marks!
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7. "Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus." -Neal A. Maxwell
The innkeeper’s role in the Nativity Story is a made up one. There’s no mention of him, only that Mary and Joseph could find “no guest room” available the night she went into labor (Luke 2:7). However, this character has made his way into the Christmas story, and though his role is small, his importance isn’t. He opened his home to this couple. What if he hadn’t? Jesus would have still been born, and the prophecy fulfilled, but this innkeeper got to be a part of His miraculous birth.
Have you offered Jesus a space in your heart? I believe Christmas is a time where many find themselves drawn to Him and asking themselves this question. Opening your heart to Him will surely get you into the Christmas spirit.
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8. "I have come into the world to be a light. No one who believes in me will stay in darkness." -John 12:46
Winter is dreary where I live. The sun hides most days and fog appears many mornings. The world seems to be in a constant state of shade and shadow. Everyone is ready for Spring after months of this weather, even if it means ninety-degree temps and high, hair-frizzing humidity. Why? The sun comes back; its light is powerful for healing and refreshment.
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9. "Christmas is not about the worth and goodness of humanity, but the mind-blowing mercy of God." -David Mathis
Christmas is often labeled as a “season for giving”, or a time for doing “good deeds”. And, certainly, being in the Christmas spirit will spur us to be generous and show good will to men.
But Christmas is about God’s mercy.
Mercy is the compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. God has the power to do with us whatever He desires, yet He chose to save us from ourselves. He sent His Son in the most merciful act mankind has ever seen, with the exception of His other great mercy in His very death on the cross. This truth should make our eyes go wide with wonder and thanksgiving. Remembering God’s mercy, no matter if we have a lot to celebrate this year or not, will help us to get into the Christmas spirit.
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10. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." -Elf
I challenge anyone who says they can’t listen to Christmas music and stay hardened in their hearts. There is a whole book in the Bible devoted to music. It’s played, sang, danced to, clapped to, swayed to … Music provides a physical, tangible way to worship God.
Worship motivates the excitement needed to celebrate such a magical holiday. It’s fun and even silly at times. Numerous children’s programs perform in song for their loved ones every December. No holiday party is without a Christmas playlist carrying on in the background. Carols sung by all in attendance can be heard at every Christmas church service. This would not be so if the music wasn’t a powerful tool to cheer us up during December and all its celebrations.
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Kristen has a Master's degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children's Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. She is also involved in the women's leadership and teaching team at her church, and writes for Wholly Loved ministry at WhollyLoved.com. To see her blog and current novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.