How to Have the Best Christmas

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The very best gift that you can give others and yourself this Christmas is your presence, your attention and your eye contact. So, today on the show, I’m talking about one of the biggest distractions we all struggle with: our phones. Then, I want to unpack some wisdom from John Mark Comer’s book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Finally, I’ll leave you with a few questions that will help you really apply this to your lives. Let’s jump in.

What People Really Want This Christmas

Every single human being has a need to feel seen. That’s why the very best gift you can give others and yourself this Christmas is simply your presence, your attention and your eye contact. And let's be honest. We all struggle with how much time we spend on our phones. It steals our moments and our ability to be present for the people who matter the most.

When you start intentionally putting your phone down and engaging the person in front of you, you start to realize the gift is not just for the other person—it’s a gift for you as well. If you want a great Christmas, you have to show up for it and actually experience it yourself. Believe me: You won’t be disappointed.

Always Running Out of Time? This Is Why.

I’ve been reading an incredible book by John Mark Comer called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. In the book, John talks about the impact our technology is having on our lives and even our attention spans. So, I want to share some of that research with you: In the year 2000, before the digital revolution, our attention span was 12 seconds. It has dropped to eight seconds, to put things in perspective. A goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds. Yeah—we're losing to goldfish.

If we can understand the dangerous, addictive nature of technology, screens, apps and notifications, we can guard against it. We can put boundaries and guardrails around our use of technology to help us focus on what matters most.

So, if your phone isn’t the most important thing in your life, then stop acting like it is. Stop giving it that much of your attention, your eye contact, your energy and your time. What if you just let yourself live in the moment and experience things in real time? What if you looked up, made eye contact, and were actually present for the people and the moments that mattered the most to you? I think, if you’d do that, you’d completely change how you experience your own life.

Why Slowing Down Is So Important

Be still, and know that I am God. — Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

A lot of us have this inner drive—this pull—to be everything to everyone. And if I'm honest, a lot of my hurry and rushing and activity and need to do all the things all the time for all the people comes from this deeper need to be the hero and to save the day. I have this Mother Teresa complex. Like, Well, if I don't do it, who will? If I don't do it, it won't get done. As if, somehow, the world hangs on my shoulders (which is laughable).

We're busy, we're burned out, and we're running ragged. We're running ourselves to the ground. This verse doesn't ask us to be still. It's not a suggestion. It's a command. It says “Be still.” Be still and be quiet. Don't look at your phone. Don't even listen to music. Stop the noise. Stop the rushing. Stop the running. Stop trying to perform. Stop trying to keep up. Just stop. Be still. This verse is a beautiful reminder and invitation for me and you to be still and know that God is God and we are not.

Take some time to answer these questions as you think about this:

  1. In what area (or areas) of your life do you feel the need to be a hero?
  2. What would need to happen for you to stop? What must be true for you to be still and rest?
  3. How could you be still, even in the chaos?