Reducing Christmas Stress

What People Say About Christmas Stresschristmas-tree

Over the past couple of years I have noticed that many people have a great amount of stress attached to the Christmas holiday. Not infrequently I have heard people comment any of the following

  • “I just can’t wait till the holidays are over”
  •  “I hate this time of year”
  • “I’m so stressed out about what to get so and so for Christmas”
  • “I just can’t afford all this shopping”

And the list goes on….

I have thought to myself how sad it is that Christians and non-Christians alike are so busy this time of year that the reason for Christmas is somehow lost. Especially for Christians I do think that it is important that our lives demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas. If those around us see only a stressed out life what will they think of our faith? Because everyone knows Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Christianity.

How are we to find meaning in the endless giving of gifts that are not needed by the recipient? And sometimes hardly valued? Sometimes I know we fall into giving gifts to people we normally wouldn’t because that is what is socially acceptable.

In December’s edition of the Hudson River Sampler newspaper I wrote the following article for God’s Corner.

christmas-nativity-sceneHeart of Christmas

Snow fell softly. Inside mother and father wrapped last-minute gifts. They had just returned from the candle light service, tucked the kids in bed and were finishing preparations for Christmas Day. It had been a busy season, filled with holiday parties, baking, school concerts and shopping. Each day of December mother had wondered if she could make it one more day. Now the end was in sight. After tomorrow she could rest until next year. Pausing for a moment, the nativity sitting on the mantle held her gaze.
Father, in the other room, added up the receipts of all the gift purchases. He sighed. Once again they had overspent the budget. Even with all the good sales there were last-minute gifts that put them over the top. Now January would be spent paying for gifts already forgotten. As he made his way to mother, he followed her gaze to the manger.
The Babe lay wrapped in the swaddling clothes with Mary and Joseph gazing down at Him. The shepherds bowed down worshipping, and the three kings brought their gifts to the King. He was the reason for Christmas. This Prince of Peace came with a promise for the hearts of those who follow – the promise of peace.
Mother pondered this peace, wondering how she had missed it. With the overcrowded days peace had been anything but present in the past month. She turned to father and said, “I want to do it different next year. I want to celebrate Christmas with less stress and more joy. Let’s make Christmas filled with love and less stress.”
That was last year. Once again Christmas is approaching. This is their chance to celebrate the holiday season with the promised peace, joy and love. Will the pressure of the season drag them down again or will the heart of Christmas fill their hearts this season?

Ideas for Minimizing Christmas Stress

jar mixThe article was written from the perspective of all the things I just stated. Not that I have the answer for any of this but I have been praying about finding a way to minimize meaningless giving and overspending. Part of it for myself I do think could be reduced if I approached the season more prepared. I know some people who do their holiday shopping throughout the year so that when December comes all they have to do is wrap. Also for the gifts that are given just because it is socially acceptable I have taken a liking to giving some kind of food jar mix, like a soup mix or something of the sort. This is inexpensive and can be used at a later time, rather than an already made food item that needs to be consumed in the season when we all probably eat more than we should.

More important than all that I find that I just need to bring Him my heart daily, asking Him to clear the schedule of Christmas stress so that I can celebrate the season in my heart for the right reasons out of a heart of worship.

God Bless you this Christmas as you worship Him as well.

 

The First Christmas by Melissa McAvoy

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About Naomi Fata

I am a wife, work from home mom with three amazing children, author of Beyond Head Knowledge knowing Christ who satisfies our Hearts. I’m an ordinary person who has found victory in an extraordinary God. My passion is to help others grow to emotional and mental wholeness and healing in Christ. I am currently studying as a life coach through Light University.
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