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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December 17, 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? The song says it, and we believe it. The season sparkles, and most of us are a little brighter, and lighter too.

But it can be the most stressful time of the year also. It is a frenzied season full of expectations and obligations. Decorations need to be put up, baking must be done, presents have to be purchased, and relatives must be visited. It is quite possible that in a season where you should experience peace and joy, you may miss out on all of it.

We spend so much time preparing things, preparing for events. We get stressed because we spend so much time working on making things perfect that the people for whom we are preparing the things don’t get us. And that’s a big miss. Christmas is an incredible time, filled with unbelievable opportunities for us to influence and impact those around us. The best moments of the season are wasted when we put perfection and projects before people interaction.

Here are a few ideas to lower Christmas stress:

Establish your priorities. Make sure the main thing on your heart and mind each day is the reason for the season. All of this is because Jesus was born to be our Savior.

Be realistic, not perfectionist. We want things to be merry and jolly, but that may not be possible. Losses, health issues, sickness, and relational issues don’t disappear because it’s Christmas. We can’t control it all. Not letting our expectations set us up is wise. Even people who are not perfectionists can get wrapped up in wanting everything to be perfect at Christmas. You can get so stressed over every detail that you miss out on enjoying the celebration, frustrated and exhausted.

Don’t try to do everything. You can even overdo on good stuff. Say no to the things that pack your schedule too tight for family or relaxation.
You simply cannot attend every party or event. You need to say "no" to the activities you can't fit into your schedule. There must be enough time for relaxation and rest. Don't overdo anything (even the good stuff), and realize that you can't do everything.

Maintain your perspective. Remember, this will be over before you know it. The kids will go back to school. The relatives will go home, and life will return to normal. 😊 You can make it.

Have fun. Make sure to make time for the things you truly enjoy at Christmas. Do the things you can only do now.

Don’t overspend. Knowing how much you can afford and sticking to your budget will make your holiday a whole lot better. In the end, Christmas is about relationships and memories, not material things. Sometimes we make Christmas the most stressful time of the year because we try to think of the exact “right” gift for the people in our lives. Perhaps the people we are wanting to buy for don’t have any external needs. What most of our friends and family need are gifts that money can’t buy.

So, ask yourself this Christmas: What is a gift you can give that would really make a difference long after the Christmas decorations are taken down and the carols stop playing? What could you give your co-worker? Your neighbor? Your spouse? Your child?

Maybe they need the gift of time.
Maybe the gift of true forgiveness would change their world.
Maybe a word of hope would put the sparkle back in their eyes.
Maybe a word of affirmation is the gift that would keep on giving through the new year.

You can have a Christmas that is a most wonderful time for you and others if you decide to make it so.