While most of us love the Christmas season, sometimes all the busyness, activities, and things that must be done put us into overload mode. Stress levels rise, and instead of a joyful season of worshipping Christ our Savior, we become crazy women running to and fro, impatient and frustrated. That sure isn’t my picture of a godly, Christian woman, and I don’t want it to characterize my life during the weeks that are so precious in my year. So how can we take the stress out of the Christmas season?
1. REST IN THE LORD
Perhaps the greatest stress reliever is to remember the words of Christ Himself. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, are we truly coming to Him? Are we continuing in our daily time to worship Him through reading His Word and praying?
2. WRITE IT DOWN
Write down what you want to do during the Christmas season. Often stress overwhelms us when our minds are trying to track, manage, remember, and juggle all that needs to be done. Our memory becomes so full of all the “stuff,” that we can’t handle it. When you write it down, relief descends. It is in a safe place to be retrieved and referred to.
3. PARE DOWN
The third thing you can do to help relieve holiday stress is to pare down. Once you have that list, determine activities or duties that are no longer a priority. Just because you have always done it, doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it.
What Christmas activities draw your heart to Jesus? Which ones share Him with others? Which ones teach your children to love, that it is better to give than to receive, or to worship Christ? I would rather have a peaceful heart and do half as many Christ-related traditions and activities than to do the full measure of them stressed.
Next, you take the pared-down, prioritized list of Christmas activities and write out steps needed to accomplish each one. Perhaps there are supplies to be purchased and gathered. Maybe a date should be put on the calendar to reserve the time. It could be that others are to be invited.
5. DEDICATE TIME
Even with the best-prioritized, planned list of Christmas activities, if you don’t have any time to do them, you feel stressed. How does a busy mom find time for doing more than she currently does in her normal daily life?
Start with just one hour per day in the month of December for Christmas preparations—a specific hour that you know you can consistently be committed to keeping. If you are a homeschool mom, shorten your school day by one hour for the month of December to accommodate. You will be pleasantly surprised with the progress you can make on things like Christmas cards or letters, online gift shopping, gift wrapping, meal planning, and make-ahead baking in just one hour.
With available time, look at your lists and steps, and choose what you will tackle during that time frame.
CHOOSE TO DESTRESS
Christmas is the last time of year when you want to be a stressed woman. This Christmas season would you choose to set aside Christmas stress and pick up the joy, peace, and rest of the Savior?
Here are four resources that I recommend to help you with holiday de-stressing or any-time-of-the-year de-stressing: