Christmas time is known for many things: the birth of Jesus Christ, the season of giving, the silly season, but to some, it’s also known as a busy and stressful time of year.
This year, let’s try not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, but instead, slow down and celebrate this joyful time of year by following a few simple steps.
- Plan, plan, plan. Write to-do lists, shopping lists, chores lists, presents lists — whatever you need to help you remember things and stay organised. Even if you finished Christmas shopping a month ago, you might still need to buy and prepare food the day before, or clean your house for guests, or organise to bring presents to different houses. Do yourself a favour and keep track of who needs to do what and when, and Christmas Day this year will be a breeze.
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There’s always a chance that tomorrow will have it’s own challenges — “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34). So if you’re worried about all the things you need to do today and tomorrow and the next day, just stop and focus on today. Wrap presents today. Write Christmas cards tonight. Don’t leave it until just before you leave, there’s a chance last-minute emergencies can arise and you wouldn’t want anything else on your plate at this time of the year.
- Keep things simple. If the thought of preparing your extravagant Christmas meal plan or table decorations has you pulling out your hair, it might be time to rethink your strategy. Yes, you may want to try out those cute Christmas cookies you saw on Pinterest or cook that delicious dish you saw on Instagram, but if you’ve got your hands full enough, maybe hold off until next year when you have a little more time to organise and prepare. Your family won’t mind, they’ll appreciate whatever effort you make and at the end of the day, just enjoy being around you.
- And most importantly, don’t forget about the real meaning of Christmas. The whole point of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yes, it’s also a time of giving and spending time with family and friends, but if the stress of it all is taking joy away from the true meaning of Christmas, you may need to take things down a notch this year and keep things low key. Have a simple meal. Buy simple but thoughtful presents. Don’t buy into all the bells and whistles advertising companies try to sell you, and just have a quiet time with family or friends to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 (NIV)
For anyone out there who may have been stressed in past years, what are your tips to survive the Christmas celebrations?