Let’s face it, December can be a ridiculous month. All the decorating, baking (some of you laugh inwardly – it’s okay if you buy all your Christmas baking. I still love you), shopping, wrapping, card writing, partying, eating. Ya, it’s a lot. And on top of all of the stuff that needs to get done, there’s the emotional junk that often surfaces during the holidays. Somehow loss, conflict and pain are amplified and instead of calm and bright, your world feels chaotic and overwhelming.
So how can we keep from going cray cray this Christmas?
1. Take time for baby Jesus
I realize how cliche this sounds, but friends, I really believe it’s the key to calm this Christmas. Even if you just carve out five minutes in your day to read an advent devotional, or a few verses from the bible app on your phone (or even your real bible!!), it’s going to make a huge difference. I’m not talking an hour or two of meditation and intercetion (althogh that certainly wouldn’t hurt), I’m talking five – ten minutes of focused time in the word. It will ground you, encourage you and remind you not to get caught up in the swirl of the season.
2. Don’t over-deck the halls
I love twinkle light and cedar boughs as much as the rest of you, but let me be straight. If you don’t get your outdoor Christmas lights up this year, the 25th of December will still come. The wise men will still follow the star and the angels will still declare “glory to God in the highest”. If your Christmas wrapping is not colour-coordinated and you still haven’t found the perfect personalized ornament to commemorate the birth of your child (who is now 7 years old), there will still be joy and peace on earth.
3. Make people, not presents the priority
One of my goals for December is to do something nice for someone else each week. Instead of spending my spare time trying to find the perfect gifts, I’m carving out time for coffee dates, phone calls, and random acts of kindness. Why not spread the love a little further than our closest friends and family? Buy coffee for a stranger, donate to your local food bank, or invite your neighbours for dinner. When people are the priority, suddenly the to do list become less important. If you don’t bake those snickerdoodles and instead take time to visit your ailing Grandma, your Chrismtas will still be filled with meaning – perhaps even more.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you wouldn’t feel overwhelmed with decorating and shopping, but instead would connect with people you love and with your Saviour in a deep and meaningful way. Take the pressure off of yourself to have a Pinterest-worthy home and instead focus on opening and offering your life to Jesus and those He calls you to love. And instead of crazy, your Christmas will truly be calm and bright.0