I wanted to continue our “conversation” about how to less stress the holiday season. As I wrote earlier I attended a class about how to bring down the stress level and bring up the blessing level for your family. I wanted to share the tips and ideas.
B: be willing to evaluate and start over if need be. What traditions are your families favorites? What favorite memories from years past do they talk about every year? Ask them about holiday foods. What do they love and not like? Just because Grammy made a jelly mold every year when you were little doesn’t mean you have to too.
L: link up with others to divide and conquer. Have a cookie exchange, wrapping party, recipe exchange. I heard of another ” exchange” that sounded very interesting to me. Host a food exchange. You have 4-6 friends that each make one thing 4-6 times depending on how many friends are there and than you swap. This gives you many dinners for the busy months.
E: encourage Christ-centered traditions. Advent wreaths and calendars, devotions at dinner, serve in a shelter, attend a live nativity, Christmas plays and cantata’s. Read the Christmas story several times during the Christmas season.
S: simplify your gift giving. The more gifts people receive the less content they are. Our kids receive enough gifts from extended family so we started giving them 3 gifts from us. Jesus received 3 gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. What is your gold, frankincense and myrrh? You don’t have to find the perfect gift. It has already been given. Jesus came to earth as a babe and grew into a man that went to the cross and died for you and me so that we would one day be with Him in eternity. That is the ultimate gift. When you are looking for those special gifts, pray first. Ask God to lead you to the gift that will touch that person’s heart and make them feel love. Don’t fret over giving the greatest gift. It will rob your joy for the Christmas season. Give the thoughtful gift.
S: scatter kindness during Christmas. Say thank you. Fire houses, nursing homes, shelters, soup kitchens, someone who is alone. Give cookies, cards, candy, flowers. Take your little ones and let them sing Christmas carols. Smile and say MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone. As Christians we need to ditch this “happy holidays” mambo jumbo. Be bold in your faith. Know why we are celebrating Christmas. If you know of a family or older couple that is alone, invite them for Christmas dinner. The more the merrier!! Let the love you have for Christ shine for all to see. Remember that little ones are watching and we set the example and direction to where and what we want Christmas to be in our home.
I hope these ideas have been fun to read. I found a great website on planning and prepping for the holidays and I wanted to give it to you.
I have looked around and it seams to be really good. I can’t wait to grab a cup of coffee, a pen and paper and jot down some notes. Let me know what you think. Share some of your ideas for Christmas. Let’s learn from one another…