As we draw nearer and nearer to Christmas day, and really, the whole season, I can’t help but make mental lists of all I need to do.
Decide on a theme for cards.
Photograph, design, and mail cards.
Sort through Christmas decor.
Decorate outside of house.
Finish making gifts.
Decide on a menu for family Christmas.
Make a music playlist.
Plan two holiday parties.
Stock up on wrapping paper, tape, bows, etc.
Bake several batches of Christmas goodies and freeze in special tins.
Of course, there is more than just this, but that is what came to me off the top of my head. Not listed are the usual get togethers with family and friends, keeping up church attendance, continuing to run my Etsy shop, blogging, homemaking, youth group, young adults group, and so on. I think I am a fairly busy person in general, but it seems that life gets even busier during the month of December. Every year I say I am going to cut back on all that I impose on myself, but this year, I mean it!
While I truly enjoy the Christmas season, there is only so much stress I can take. Especially when that stress is something I am knowingly causing! There are certain things I don’t want to cut, like sending customized Christmas cards or decorating the house. But I am making some changes to how I check things off my list. Firstly, I am reducing the number of cards we send (sorry friends) because it is both costly and time consuming. Secondly, I am still decorating the house, but am planning a very simple outdoor theme. Since we are hosting a party here, and then having my family for dinner, I am still going to decorate the inside of the house, but am keeping it simple.
As already mentioned, I am planning two holiday parties this year, when I have previously hosted NONE. To keep things stress free I am doing simple games, no gift exchanges, and serving only desserts and drinks.
While these examples may seem simple and kind of like a no-brainer, they are still necessary for me. I am also giving myself permission to just stop. Stop planning, decorating, cooking, etc. If I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I am allowing myself to stop and either continue later or just stop all together. In the grand scheme of Christmas, does all that extra fluff really matter? No, it doesn’t. If I don’t plan out the perfect Christmas dinner, or serve all the snacks I planned at the Christmas parties, is anyone going to care? Probably not! If I run out of wrapping paper and have to use something else, is the gift any less special? Nope. If my Christmas decor and lights stay in the attic, does it really matter? Not at all.
Bottom line here, friends, is that Christmas shouldn’t be a cause for stress. We are celebrating the birth of our Saviour, after all! I encourage you to write out a list of all the things you feel you have to do this season. Put a star beside the really important tasks that you are looking forward to. Draw a line through those that cause you stress or anxiety. Can you live without doing them? Probably. Tackle your newly paired down list with joy and peace!
I hope that you have a happy holiday season, and that the true meaning stays with you.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.