My children think I have a problem. A holiday problem. Simply because I think Christmas music becomes relevant around mid-October and we always get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, they seem to think I am obsessed. But I tend to disagree, it’s just that I love the holidays! From shopping to cooking to decorating to socializing, I am all about getting as much out of the holiday season as is humanly possible.
I love everything about the holidays….. except, of course, some of the stress that comes along with them.
For example, there was that year when my Christmas tree fell over six times because my eyes were bigger than my tree stand. That year that I had a panic attack because I waited until the last minute to purchase new strands of white lights for my tree, and the country apparently experienced a national shortage of them. And I remember on more than one occasion, when I waited too long to purchase the hot toys of the season, only to discover that there were none to be found. Or the year when the turkey fryer caught on fire, leaving no turkey for the family dinner table. And I still vividly recall the stress several years ago when I volunteered for way too many holiday jobs and committees at church, which stretched me so thin and ragged that I nearly became see through.
Yes, those were the days. The days I never want to go back to! I think my blood pressure rose a little bit while I was writing this post, remembering just a few of the many ways I have allowed the holidays to stress me out in the past. But these days, I just want to savor the season, and not stress over insignificant things. The holidays do bring new challenges and obligations, but if we keep our minds focused on the reason we are celebrating, we can always bring ourselves back to a feeling of peace.
Our relationship with Jesus is our number one path to peace, yet there are things we can to do proactively avoid allowing the holidays to push our stress buttons. Here are 2 great ways to start forming the right perspective about how to approach this year’s holidays, and hopefully ward off some holiday stress!
1. Purchase the book Untangling Christmas before the holidays get into full swing. (An Ebook version is also available). My sweet friends Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice wrote this book together and share simple strategies and doable ideas for untangling the mess that is sometimes Christmas. This book helps get rid of the unrealistic expectations, prepare for Christmas challenges, and help you craft a memorable, though not perfect, holiday. It’s packed with holiday organizational tips and recipes, including charts and worksheets. This is an awesome resource to help make sure your holidays are blessed, instead of stressed! And from now until the end of November, all resources are 25% off!
2. Read my recent article about holiday stress over at the Proverbs 31 Everyday Life site. Click here to read this free resource called 7 Ways To De-Stress Your Holidays.