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.
Ideas for Minimizing Christmas Stress
The 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