How many years have you said “Next year, we will change the way we celebrate Christmas.”? Do you dread the holidays? Is it too stressful?
So much is written about stress during the holidays. Ultimately, it is about expectations…those of our family, or our own. We want to give the perfect gift to all on our list. And our list grows each year. Before we know it, we are frantically fighting the crowds in the mall in search of…whatever. We have certain cookies we have to make…decorations that need to be put out…Christmas cards to write…etc, etc, etc.
Here are 3 positive ways to make things easier, decrease stress, and focus on what is really important at the holidays.
- Celebrate Advent. There are a great number of daily Advent devotionals at Amazon and Christian Book Distributor. All one needs is a small wreath, 4 candles and holders. Traditionally, there are 3 purple and one pink candle…and you can have a white one, if you choose, for Christmas Day. Light a candle, read a selected devotional as a family. We typically do this right after dinner while everyone is still at the table. For little ones, get a small, inexpensive and unbreakable crèche that they can play with while the reading is going on.
- Say “NO” to too much gift giving. Out of town family, coworkers, even husbands and wives can be cut from the list. Most of us do not “NEED” anything. But there are so many who do. Donate the money you would save to any number of good organizations.
- Send Christmas cards only to people you will not see at Christmas! If you will see your friends at church, or a get together, you can wish them a Merry Christmas in person.
- Commit to at least one simple change and enjoy the time together this Christmas.