You are probably saying to yourself that I have lost my mind if I think I can have a Stress Free Christmas. Well, my mind is still here and we’ve had several Stress Free Christmases in the past few years. I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned to help in surviving Christmas.
Tip #1: Read God’s Word Every Morning
Starting my day with God’s Word seems obvious, but sometimes gets left out. I need to hear from God & speak to God each day so I am strengthened and ready to be the mom He wants me to be. At breakfast, we have family devotions to start our kids’ day on the right foot as well. Each of the kids know they are to read their Bible when they wake up. Of course, some need a little more reminding than others.
Tip #2: Don’t Do EVERY Activity
This seems quite apparent, but it took me about 10 years to learn this lesson. Actually, my wonderful husband helped me learn how to reduce the activity in our lives during the holiday season.
In the past, I wanted our kids to experience everything available during this season. What was actually happening was I began to harbor stress that would usually explode around Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. (I’m sure none of you have ever experienced this :o)
Tip #3: Which Activities Should You Choose
What works for our family is to choose 1 or 2 Christmas activities to attend outside our home. Anything else we do is done in our home. One of the best ways this reduces stress is that I am not “persuading” my husband to attend one more Christmas activity each week. He still spends all day working to provide for our family. Consequently, he is much happier going to a few activities and enjoying our family & friends at home.
We enjoy having others in our home, so we capitalize on this. Our children help us clean & cook, so our work is reduced and I am not stressed when our guests arrive.
Tip #4: Enjoy Your Home
I will always have more activities for us to do than we have time for. This past Thanksgiving weekend I decided which activities will wait until next year.
Tip #5: Remember:
You Can’t Do EVERY Thing, EVERY Year
We live in a society that says, “You can have it all”. But, that’s not true…you must choose what activities are best for your family each year.
I try to choose activities that encourage my children to think of others, instead of themselves during the holidays. One of the activities we used to do is raising money for a missionary family. My children would take orders for small loaves of pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies. After baking and delivering the goodies, they would pay me back for the supplies.
The rest was their profit which was used to buy games and toys for a missionary family friend.
This year I plan to babysit some young kids so their moms can do some Christmas shopping alone. Other years, I’ve hosted a Christmas card stamping party for younger kids.
I have some other ideas that are included in Celebrating Christmas
Tip #6: Make Christmas Your School
Drop some of your formal academics and enjoy the season. There are plenty of math, writing & reading concepts we practice as we bake, shop and prepare for Christ’s birthday.
At our house, we read aloud each morning and then work on a Christmas project. This may include handwork type crafts or other quiet projects.
Do you feel STRESSED during the holidays? Then, move on to tip #7.
Tip #7: Prioritize Your Days
Take a moment right now and prioritize all the activities available to your family.
Choose only 1 or 2 activities that the entire family can enjoy and pass on the rest.
Enjoy your family being at home. Have another family over to roast marshmallows and enjoy the fellowship.
Most of all, keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ. Without His love for the world, you would not be celebrating the true reason for Christmas.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
Question: How do you reduce stress at Christmas time?
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