Is it too late to have a Merry Christmas?


There are two days left until Christmas. In three days, the wrapping paper you are mulling over at the mall will be crumpled in a trash bag at the curb. The decorations you are so artfully crafting will soon be stashed on forgotten Pinterest boards. The gifts you are so carefully choosing will be declared too-big, too-small and not-what-I-really-wanted; they will be piled unceremoniously in the trunk of your car for their return trip to the store. The recipes you’ve craved for months will be unappetizing leftovers, and if you eat one more cookie even your yoga pants will be too tight.

Sorry, girlfriends – but that’s the cold, hard truth about our commercialized Christmas.

Christmas is hard because we make it hard.

My girlfriend’s sweet smile and cute smiley face at the end of her post-Christmas Facebook post last hear made light of a heavy complaint: Christmas is hard.

Christmas 2014 - It's over!!!

Is it too late to have a Merry Christmas? Before jingle bells jangle your brain and your wallet cries out for relief, let’s pause and remember the Ghost of Christmas Past – and let’s bring the joy back to Christmas.

  • Every time you ask your friends and family about their gift list, make sure the conversation comes back to the true Gift of our Savior born at Christmastime.
  • Start each day with a Christmas devotional like this or this or this.
  • Prioritize people over presents!

It’s not too late! Skip one cheesy Christmas movie (spoiler alert: the girl gets the boy, the dog finds a home, and Santa delivers the presents under the tree in the nick of time). Spend a little less time wrapping inanimate objects and more time chatting with real people. Use that time to do something kind for your neighbor.

Emmanuel means “God with us.” Give God’s presence as a Christmas present by spending time with Him this year. Let the spirit of the Christ child energize and enlighten you, and make this a Merry Christmas.

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Amy Lively (23 Posts)

Amy Lively is a speaker and the author of "How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird" (May, Bethany House). She provides tips and tools for Christ’s #2 command drawing from her own experience knocking on her neighbors’ doors and leading a women’s neighborhood Bible study called The Neighborhood Cafe. She is passionate about helping people identify their unique ministry gifts and use them in their community. Amy lives in Lancaster, Ohio with her husband, their daughter, a holy dog and an unsaintly cat. Learn more at


  1. I’m always sad to see Christmas pass into history. Get kind of depressed. People start to decorate after Halloween and then they are taking their decorations down on December 26th.yes Christmas is hard because they make it hard.I like what you wrote about the cold truth of the commercialized Christmas. Christmas should be celebrated in the heart as well as with family. We should celebrate the birth of Jesus. Sadly in a lot of cases, it isn’t.
    Celebrate CHRISTmas. Celebrate His Birth.

  2. Yay! Amy! It’s never too late to remind me to have the Christmas of my dreams…the one where I remember Christ in Christmas. Thank you!

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