Is it the most wonderful time of the year? Can it be?
In several, recent, years I have wrapped my holiday season up in the doctor’s office with anxiety coming out my ears, toes and everywhere in-between.
Some of it I bring on myself, and some of it others generously give me.
There are so many fun and exciting things to do during the holidays. Parties, shows, planning, decorating, baking, cooking, prepping, church services, family gatherings, shopping, wrapping, lists, notes, dressing up, going out, elves, rain deer, sleighs and bells, hustle and bustle, christmas tree lighting ceremonies, Santa breakfasts and brunches, movies, treats, presents, oh my.
Let’s take Christmas Eve for starters. We have so many traditions packed into that night it is neither Jesus focused, relaxing or enjoyable. In that one life-changing, history-making night when our dear savior was born we celebrate it with: a full day of cleaning, cooking and preparing, followed by an early evening of church services, singing and pictures, followed by a sit-down dinner, clean up, listening to the Christmas story before we rush out the door to spread out reindeer food on the lawn, leave our cookies and milk for Santa, watch the Santa Tracker on cable, open our one gift, more pictures, get the kids in bed, wait for them to FINALLY fall asleep, while we finish wrapping and prepping breakfast, then digging out all the gifts and stocking stuffers from their hiding places, trying to remember what you had and what is missing, placing it under the tree and in the stockings, rearranging the furniture so it all fits, taking “before” pictures and then finally settling down to a very, short, winters nap. Only to wake up very early the next morning for more of the same. Add on to this very chaotic schedule some lovely family drama and voila – you are in the doctor’s office being diagnosed with a very serious case of holiday anxiety disorder.
Can you relate??
This year, my husband and I have decided to change this story. We want a different ending and we need to have a clearer focus along the way.
This year we want to be intentional about our holidays. Not only WHAT we do, but HOW we do it. We have to make changes. And we want to make changes.
If your holidays are anything like mine, how about coming with me and doing it different this year?
Be intentional about what you want to get out of your holidays
1. I want to enjoy my family. I want to lay around and watch movies on the floor with them. I want to look in their eyes and tell them how much Jesus loves them, how much I love them and that I know God has a beautiful plan for their lives.
2. I want to keep the focus on the real reason for the season. I want to prioritize Jesus this year. Plain and simple.
3. I want to keep the stress and drama around me to a minimum. This may mean thinking about appropriate boundaries now and having others help keep me accountable to them as the season progresses.
Those are my priorities. What are yours?
If you too need to change your holiday ending this year let me challenge you to list your priorities: what you want to get out of the holidays, what you want them to feel like and what you want to avoid. Then when you are scheduling the next several weeks, if something doesn’t fit with these priorities, nix it. Share your priorities with a friend or two and ask them to keep you accountable to them.
In the next few days I am going to share some of my plan for how I will accomplish my holiday priorities.