The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
By: Gretchen Speer
My two-year old is watching Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! right now as I’m preparing to write this. I was going about my preparation when something that was said in his show jumped out at me and, to my surprise, goes right with what I was going to write about.
“We’re so busy having fun, we’re not having any.”
That statement pretty much sums up where I end up most of the time during the month of December. There is so much anticipation going into the Christmas holiday. So many plans, so much “great” food, so much….distraction from what it’s actually about.
Even though I go into it all with the best intentions, I head into January exhausted , bloated, and wondering when it will get any easier to manage.
When I realized that I was actually experiencing some real anxiety about it this year, I decided to do one thing about it: SIMPLIFY. I have stepped back from a couple things that I LOVE this month so that I don’t have to rush though picking presents for the people I love. So that I can sit and watch Christmas movies with my kids without feeling sick about all the things I have to do as soon as they are in bed. I have added one thing that I believe has made all the difference for me, and that is doing the advent readings our church provides. (You can get those here.) Doing this one thing shifted my focus back to what this season is all about, and is continuing to keep it there.
As we are moving closer to celebrating the birth of Christ here are my personal goals to keep Christ the central focus of Christmas:
Simplify- For me this means less decorations, less baking, less time shopping- just less in general.
Adjust expectations- I always want to give everybody the PERFECT gift. I want my kids to be in adorable coordinated outfits for our pictures. I want to have awesome a perfectly decorated tree Reality check: The perfect gift is often out of my budget. Kids are likely to mess up those adorable outfits two minutes before you go to take the pictures. And your two-year old WILL remove and hide/break several ornaments before the season is over.
Say No-Like I said earlier, I have already stepped back from a couple of things. It’s not that those things were bad at all, but they kept me too busy. I will definitely pick them back up in January, but for now they are on hold so that I can be present with my family as we prepare to celebrate our Savior.
I’m curious, what are the things you do to keep stress from taking over the Christmas Season? How do you keep Christ the central focus? Leave us a comment!
Blessings Mommas, and Merry CHRISTmas!!