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Joel Osteen: Celebrate Spirit of Christmas Year Round

By Amy Woods and John Bachman   |   Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 01:59 PM

The most important thing Americans can do during the holidays is let go of stress and replace it with the spirit of the season, best-selling author and Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen tells Newsmax.

"I remind them that God's got you in the palm of his hand," Osteen said. "Nothing you're facing is a surprise to God. So come back to that place of peace, let go of the anxiety, the frustration, and choose to believe."

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In addition to embracing the spirit of the season, believers also should remember the reason for it.

"You just have to remind yourself, almost daily with all of the distractions, the reason for the season," he said. "The gifts are important, and we like to give, and that's all fun, but that's not the most important. It's the memories that we're going to make together. We just really value making those memories together and not getting so caught, so stressed out, over having to have the perfect gift."

One tradition in the Osteen house on Christmas Day is a friendly game of football.

"Now, the tradition is we have family come over, usually after Christmas lunch, and we all go out in the back and play football," he said. "[I have] a lot of cousins, and I have a lot of nieces and nephews, and we have a lot of fun."

Osteen balances his time as the head of the largest church in the country with his responsibilities at home by setting priorities.

"So it's just managing your time and having good people around you, and it's important that pastors, or anybody, you take time for yourself," he said. "You're not just a spiritual person. You've got to have your emotional, physical – you've got to take care of your whole body. So that's important.

"Are you overworked? Are you trying to take on too much?" he continued. "Maybe you need to make an adjustment here. Maybe you're trying to please everybody, but it's taking your own joy so you may have to risk being out of favor with somebody for a little while and take care of yourself and your own family."

Christmas, while only one day on the calendar, is a holiday that can be celebrated all year long through random acts of kindness, Osteen added.

"If you have your health, if you have children, whatever you have, start the day off in faith," he said. "And then another important thing is, all through the day, we should be focused on not just how I can get blessed, but how I can be blessing.

"In other words, there are little things we can do all through the day that keep the Christmas spirit going. Can you give somebody a compliment? Can you give them a ride? Can you hold the door open for them? Let them in traffic? These little things, it's a spirit of giving that we can keep going all through the year."

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