As Christmas approaches, the world around us gets busier and busier. The mail and UPS trucks are all over the place. I literally see the UPS man sprinting from house to house with boxes. The malls and grocery stores are crowded. And our houses are buzzing with cleaning, cooking and decorating.
Much of this is fun, exciting and tradition. But the busy moments can begin to add up and weigh as stress on your back as Christmas day draws near.
This Christmas, I urge you to seek a more peaceful and less stressful holiday. Here are 4 ways to experience a stress-free Christmas this year.
1. Take Care of Yourself
The holidays are a busy time. There are numerous demands placed on us as we rush around to ready the house, the gifts and the food. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself feeling overworked and spread thin.
It’s important for you to care for your needs as well as the needs of others. Don’t allow the responsibilities to run you into the ground this Christmas. Get the sleep you need. Eat well. And above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I know I struggle to ask for help when I feel there is too much to do. Delegating is hard because it means asking something of another when you feel responsible. But remember that the holidays are all about giving. Allow another the opportunity to give to you this season so that you both may be blessed.
[bctt tweet="Allow another the opportunity to give to you this season so that you both may be blessed." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
2. Renew Your Mind
Spending quiet time with God is essential in our everyday lives. I want to remind you that in the busy, fun-filled and emotion-filled time, it is even more essential to keep up spending quiet time with God.
Take time in the morning to still your heart before your Savior. If you struggle with this, I encourage you to read my post, For Those Who Struggle to Find Time to be Still.
Spending time with God will allow your heart to rest and your mind to break free of the chains of stress and burden during the holiday. Find that time with no distractions (even if it’s just a few minutes) to pray, to read Scripture and to be still before God.
It will change your day as your mind is renewed and your heart is transformed in His presence.
3. Release Yourself from the Burden of Control
I know I spend countless hours fretting about the way things should be. I work to create situations where I feel that I can be in control and where things will go amazingly well. I gather up expectations of how each moment of the holiday should be and I become exceedingly disappointed when they don’t go as planned.
I know I’m not alone in this. We all have expectations. Whether we are in a time of tradition or in a time of transition, we can’t allow our expectations to dictate our peace.
[bctt tweet="Whether we're in a time of tradition or transition, we can’t allow our expectations to dictate our peace." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
During the holidays this year, release your expectations and your urge to control the outcomes to God. Allow His provision and His peace to wash over you.
Things may not go as we planned, but we must remember that God has a plan so much greater than anything we can imagine. We must hold onto the trust that He has every moment of this holiday in His loving hands.
4. Remember the Real Reason We Celebrate
Christmas is a celebration of the arrival of our Savior to this earth. He left His throne in Heaven to be among us, His beloved children. He did this so that He could walk this earth and offer Himself as a sacrifice to bring us to a loving relationship with the Father.
Because of this baby, we have the gift of salvation offered to us freely. This is the reason we celebrate.
I know I often find myself drifting to the celebration of family, gifts and giving. After all, that’s what Christmas has become about to most of the world.
That is why it is so important to remind ourselves and our families of the real reason of celebration. We know it deep down. We can recite it when asked. But be sure to check your heart. What is your heart celebrating this holiday season?
[bctt tweet="What is your heart celebrating this holiday season?" username="NicoleAKauffman"]
Aside from the blessing of family, gifts and giving, the arrival of Christ to this earth is alone enough to celebrate this Christmas. Remember this and the pressure of the perfect family gathering, the perfect meal and the perfect gifts will fade in light of our perfect Savior.
I encourage you to embrace the wonder of the arrival of our Savior.
Below is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs and video. I love the wonder that you can see in the eyes of Joseph, in the gifts of the 3 wise men and in the arrival of the shepherds. This baby was different and people from all around knew it.
It is my prayer that your Christmas is filled with the wonder and awe of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.