Grab your little black dress, reindeer tie and hostess gifts folks, it's Christmas party time!
I couldn't find any statistics on how many people actually attend – or even host – holiday parties, but feel like anecdotal evidence supports my belief that nearly everyone does either one or the other. Me? I tend to do both. My calendar is dotted with wine and cheese tastings and corporate bashes, Secret Santa lunches, private dinner parties, and family get-togethers for the next several weeks – and those are just the ones I'm invited to!
When it comes to hosting parties over the holidays, things can get a little sticky. After all, if I'm invited to Mary's shindig, I have to invite her to mine. If Wilsons serve a three-course meal, then I'm pretty much obligated to serve a four-course meal. And if Barbara and Phil invite a dozen, my guest list has to grow accordingly, too, right?
There's a better party plan out there. In fact, it's not just better it's amazing and a sure fire way to change your idea of holiday cheer!
Curious? Here it is:
The next party you throw, ditch the status quo and do something fresh, bold and biblical. Instead of inviting the same old same old, look outside your social circle for people you might not know – maybe the lady at the bakery who smiles shyly at you every morning, or the bus driver, the grocery clerk or the young kid at the dry cleaners.
Rather than just returning the favor by inviting Mary to your shindig, invite someone who never gets invited, like the homeless man you see from the window of your car every night, or the single parent down the street or the frail-looking elderly woman who lives across the hall from your mom at the nursing home.
And instead of stressing over whether to serve trendy tapas or more traditional appetizers, whether to go with the lamb or the pork, put your energy and passion into serving others and feeding their souls, not just their stomachs.
The party will be a smash – probably so great you'll want to start doing it on a regular basis! And the rewards…well the rewards come with a lifetime guarantee. Not from me, from God.
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."(Luke 14:12-14 NIV)
It's almost become a cliché, but in giving we truly are able to bring back the "reason for the season". And in sharing the love of Christ in us, we are sincerely sharing the light of the world to people in darkness.
Merry Christmas and God bless you in 2009!
Thanks Ava for a great reminder for all year! Ava is one of my Twitter friends, and a delight to read her every day tweets from someplace on the other side of the world (LOL) Merry Christmas my friend, and safe journey!
Ava Semerau is a Christian author, American expat and award-winning journalist. Her latest book is titled And God Was Pleased: Biblical Principles for Creating Christian Success. To learn more about Ava, the book and how to please God more, visit her Web site at http://www.avasemerau.com/.