Can you believe we are not even through Halloween and stores are all decked out for Christmas. Yes, I typed Christmas. I believe in Christmas and that is what I am standing firm on. December 25 is a day to celebrate Christ’s birth. I think of the holiday season as the whole month of December but the 25th is His birthday, Christmas. No political correctness here!
I thought it would be fun to share how we celebrate the Christmas season. How do you keep it stress free (can we do that)? What cookies do you make? What is your favorite Christmas song? Do you have a favorite memory of a toy or game? These are some things I am going to be blogging about in the coming weeks. First, I want to share some tips I have collected over the years. I attend the Hearts at Home conferences and have heard fantastic speakers. Karen Ehman is so much fun, practical and humorous. She has several books out. She has a class about having a Blessed not Stressed holiday. Here is what she suggests:
S: Don’t seek to have the perfect Christmas season. Have a memorable one. Don’t worry if your home is perfect, the food is perfect or you are holding to tradition. This will cause stress!
T: Try not to do it all. You don’t have to do all the Christmas traditions in one year. If you have many spread them out. Pick the ones that will work for you and your family in this season of life.
R: Don’t REPEAT mistakes of the past. Figure out what stresses you out and avoid it. If it is baking cookies from scratch, don’t. Make some that are semi-homemade. If it is getting all your shopping done in one weekend, spread out your time. Enjoy life! We only get one!
E: Evaluate your Christmas season by not comparing yourself to others. Look God in your own celebration. All families are different. Take the ideas from your friends and family and pick ones that work for you. Don’t feel guilty about this. Your family is it’s own unique identity!
S: Set no agenda according to your kids. The Christmas season doesn’t revolve around them. The holidays are to expose them to those who are less fortunate. Take this opportunity to plant some seeds of compassion, kindness, and giving.
S: Start off the season with a plan. Without a plan you will fail. Your holidays will go by in a blurr and you will be stressed out! Plan out your holiday budget!! This is so important. Don’t allow your family to become stressed out due to overspending. It is so easy to do! Sit down with your calender and plan out shopping days, a few nights to write out Christmas cards while watching a fun Christmas movie, plan your menu and start picking things up here and there at the store (this will help your budget), plan a weekend to put up your Christmas tree and lights. Plan fun time, go see Christmas lights, go to a local church for a Christmas play, have fun in the snow, bake cookies, read the Christmas story (Luke 2).
These tips and ideas have helped me through the years to have a less stressed Christmas. I tended to think that I had to be doing everything that my friends families where doing. It left me so overwhelmed. I went to this class with Karen Ehman and a light bulb went off. I was free from all the “have to’s” My Christmas’ are so much more enjoyable now.
Next we will talk about how to bless…I hope you join me!! I truly believe we can learn from one another.