Dec
08

Tips For A Christmas Of Less Stress And More Fun

It’s the second week of December. Christmas is around to the corner and if you’re like me, your “to do” list is growing and the days to do it all are shrinking. It’s the most wonderful and happiest time of the year but it can also be the more stressful time of the year.

blog photo - ice stormGrowing up in the south, I lived through many ice storms. Instead of white fluffy snow, we’d often get freezing rain that put a layer of ice on everything. It made driving treacherous and walking to your car a contact sport that could land you in the hospital.

Trees and their limbs drooped due to the weight of the ice and could snapped unexpectedly causing damage and sometimes injury. If a storm hit early and the trees still had their leaves, the risk of this happening was even greater.

One of the purposes of a tree losing its leaves in the fall is to prepare it for the storms of winter.

Christmas is the time of year many of us snap due to all the added pressure of shopping, party planning, Church programs, travel, family visits, etc.

The last thing I want to do this holiday season is snap under pressure and self-inflicted expectations and be the drama mama…again. I mean there already are enough embarrassing family stories involving me. It’s not quite the legacy I want to leave behind.

I came up with a few guidelines that might help us all make this be a season of less stress and more fun.

Worry less and laugh more. Drop the idea of perfection, believe me it’s a myth. Give your best not someone else’s idea of it. And don’t forget to laugh off your flubs. Laughter is the best medicine.

Volunteer less and say “no” more. Carefully pray through what you are to say yes to. When you say yes to the right volunteer opportunities, you have the joy and energy that makes it fun for everyone. If it’s not what God’s asked of you, it stresses you out and fills you with resent.

Text less and talk more. Be in the moment. Make everyone around you feel they are the most important person in the room. Be sure to model this for your children.

Expect less praise and give more thanks. Too high of expectations have probably caused more family meltdowns. Don’t look for the praise of others to fill your needs. Instead look at what others have done and give genuine praise.

Complain less and compliment more. This piggybacks off of the previous point. If the turkey is dry, remember you have a plate full of food and compliment the host on the gravy. Focusing on the positive makes everything taste better.

Eat less and move more. Enjoy the blessings of food but don’t stuff yourself sick. You’ll be more likely to get out, go for that walk or run and fill you body with good endorphins.

Do less and enjoy others more. You may want to make the house look perfect, your tree to shine like a star and to buy everyone that perfect gift but it’s more fun to be in a house full of joyful people than a perfect house filled with exhausted people.

Buy less and love more. The pressure of buying the perfect gift often steals our time and energy to fully love those around us. Love takes time and effort and if we expend it in the mall, we come home over-stimulated, stressed and broke.

Schedule less and pray more. Be still before God. Pray. Meditate and ask God what you are to say “yes” to. Remember He is the Reason for the season. We are celebrating the Gift He gave us…Jesus.

So shed off those extra leaves that may be weighing you down and focus on what matters. Love those God has placed in your life. Give to those in need. Express thanks and truly celebrate the Reason for the season.

Less often gives you more.

 

 

 

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