This is the time of year where we are all running around like crazy people. Is it possible to make the Christmas season about what is most important to us? I think it is. However, there was a time I didn’t think it was possible. I dreaded Christmas because it seemed to be the highest stress time of the year for me. One year I even wrote myself a little note on my calendar beginning the month of December which read, “You will survive. You will get through this month!”
Sadly, Christmas should not be about surviving. Christmas is a time for love, laughter, friends, and family. It is a time to reflect on the baby born to save the world. Jesus Christ, that little baby that changed my life forever.
So, how do we turn stress into joy?
First, we need to remove the expectations we put on ourselves and lower our standards a bit. What do I mean by that? Quit thinking you can do it all and be perfect. Getting everyone the perfect gifts, preparing the perfect meal, thinking you should look like a Victoria Secret model while baking goodies for the neighborhood. I used to think I had to bake something for everyone I knew. No wonder I was stressed!
At the beginning of the holiday season sit down and make a list consisting of all you want to do and what needs to get done for Christmas. Go over it with your family and together determine what stays on the list and what can be tossed. Whittle down your list to what takes top priority and what is utmost important. Do you really need to participate in the ugliest Christmas sweater contest? If you do, keep it on your list. If not, who cares?
Next, learn the word no. You can’t say yes to everything at Christmas time and skate through stress free. It is okay to say no. And don’t feel guilty about it!
Lastly, carve out some time for YOU. Meet up with a friend to catch up. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea. Read a good book. Take a walk. Stay in bed longer than usual. Write a note to a loved one and let them know how much you value them. Take some time to enjoy life. Enjoy your family. Let others know how much you love them. If you are stressed and frazzled you most likely won’t do that and could miss out on what’s most important.
As I write this post my Christmas tree is still in the garage. But that’s okay, I’m spending some time with people I love today and the tree will go up…eventually.
I would like to wish you a blessed and beautiful Christmas!