Over 2000 years ago, God sent his son Jesus to live among men and die on a cross to pay the price for everyone’s sin. The Bible tells the story with precise detail as Jesus did what no one else has done or been able to do, He rose from the dead 3 days later and when back to heaven. The Bible also tells of a day when Jesus will return to earth to rule and reign with His believers – and His kingdom will rule forever. I hope you are part of the kingdom of God and if not you can become a member today by believing in Jesus and asking God to pardon you from your sins as told in Romans.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” - Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death” - Romans 6:23
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” - Romans 8:1-4
“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10
10 Things to Avoid
And now on to the 10 things to avoid at your family Christmas party. I don’t know about you, but this week is always a little stressful for me because of all the family parties. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family (at least most of them) but the extended family parties sometimes bring too many things together that I have been avoiding all year. For example, here are 10 things that I will try to avoid over the next week.
- Mother in-law - It’s not that I don’t love my Mother in-law and I actually have a pretty good one, it’s just that I don’t have a lot to talk about with her and everything I say has a risk of getting me in trouble with my wife.
- Too much fudge – I love fudge, but I don’t like spending the summer working off the added weight I gain over the holidays.
- Too many drinks – Be careful not to get to excited and start talking up a storm, saying things that you will later regret.
- Talking about yourself – Again, I try to ask a lot of questions and get other people talking about themselves rather than focusing on me.
- Getting dragged into a snow football game – The snow is about two feet deep now were I live and getting outside is always a good way to dodge talking to relatives that you have little to talk about with, but be careful not to get hurt playing a winter game after eating too much fudge and too many drinks.
- Singing Christmas carols – It’s fun for the kids, but always embarrassing for me to sing along with the family and I’m sure my mother will not let me out of it, so all I can do is smile and sing along. (I just hope she doesn't read this)
- Showing you dislike a gift – Always act surprised and excited when opening a gift, even if you don’t know what it is. Then, later and in private you can ask your spouse “what is that thing”.
- Talking about family personal problems – Try to avoid the family ‘whiners’ and the ‘victims’ that are always talking about how bad they have it. If it persists, bring up someone that you know that has a much worse story, like a friend that has cancer and is dying. This is not to say that someone in your family has not suffered a serious lost this year and needs to talk about it. If that is the case, then this is a perfect time to be a listening ear for them and pray for them.
- Staying too long – Be careful not to stay too long, for your benefit and the host of the party. You don’t want to end up cleaning the house or getting stuck with all the leftovers.
- Buying something – Be careful for the relatives that are planning to sell you something, like a hand gun with no serial numbers from uncle Lowie or a brother with a new business plan that is guaranteed to work this time.
There you have it. If you can avoid these 10 things, your Christmas family parties will be a delight this year.
Bonus: Have an exit strategy
Some parties can be stickier then others. If you have a party that could be trouble, than consider having an exit strategy before going in. Here are a few exit strategies to keep in mind.
- Use your cell phones to call each other if you get into a bad conversation. Have a signal to tell your spouse or kids to call you when you need an out.
- Use the kids to get away from someone. If you get into a difficult situation, leave to check on the kids.
- Agree with your spouse on the time to leave before you get to the party and do your best to stick with your plan.