CNN reports ( that total spending over Black Friday last year hit a new record of $59.1 billion.  While this is a season for shopping, that is not what makes this season special.  This is a season based on relationships, friendships, and family.  If it weren’t for all these people in our lives, we would not have over 307.67 million people rushing to the stores on Black Friday. The key to making this season special is not the shopping, but rather remembering who you are.  You are Second.

Why? How does being Second make this season special?  It gives you reason for the shopping, for the giving, and putting up with your family drama.  When we are Second, the reason for the season comes alive.

Here are the 5 ways to making your season special:

1. Throw a party. We all have friends where the holidays are not the happiest time of their lives.  Many of our friends might not have family, friends, or anyone to shop for but themselves.  Invite them to join you and your family.

2. Have a small group.  Do you have some friends or family that aren’t Second and you don’t know how to start that conversation? Invite your friends, family, or even co-workers to discuss life and God. Get the FREE Hope for the Holidays discussion guide:

3.  Become a storyteller.  It is easy to get caught up in the shopping rush of the season. Share the story for the reason for the season.  It can be as simple as inviting a friend, coworker, or family member to lunch and discussing what it means to be Second.  Or it can be as extravagant as making dinner, picking out a Christmas Classic, and exchanging white elephant gifts, then sharing the reason behind the gifts.  Whatever you do whether big or small, share the story behind the season.

4.  Play with the kids.  How can you tell your kids about being Second? This can be as simple as asking them what they think it means to be Second and what that looks like.  Invite them to help you come up with ideas of how to be Second together.  Help them tell their teachers, friends at school, or friends on their soccer teams.  Let the season come alive for your kids.

5. Make that phone call. Here is the tough one.  Do you have any friends or family members you don’t talk to anymore? Maybe you had a hurtful conversation with a friend, a coworker, or even someone in your family.  Now is the perfect time to give them a call, ask them out for coffee, for lunch, or for just a few minutes of their time.  Remember who you are.  You are Second.

You can’t make this season special by giving them that diamond necklace, that motorcycle, American Girl Doll, or Red Ryder BB Gun.  What makes your season special is not based on how much money you spend.  It is based on who you are. If you are Second, it changes how you celebrate this season and it changes your relationships.  When we are Second, the reason for this season comes alive.

Share photos of ways to be Second with your friends and family this season and we will share our staff favorites in an upcoming blog post!