I’m just out of sorts this Christmas season. It’s all sparkling lights and tinsel, Santa and snowmen and I’ve just put up my freaking Christmas tree!
Never have I not had a tree up by this point in the season. Never have I not had all my decorations done, cookies baked and presents bought. Last year I even sent out the cutest family picture Christmas cards but I’m resigned to this depressing fact: there’s no way that’s happening this year. And it has me all off center.
I’m not sure if my malaise is due to lack of seasonal decor but something has my brain askew. I’m feeling pressure to get a lot done in the next 10 days and I know most of the pressure is coming from trying to meet my own self-imposed expectations.
Baking. Decorating. Buying. Wrapping. Blogging. Cooking. Cleaning. Oy.
I don’t know where to begin or draw the line and I’m running out of time! You too?
Here’s my solution because self-guilt and condemnation aren’t working and trust me, I’ve already tried them both.
Let’s rest. Let’s let go. Let’s relax.
Christmas can become about us much too quickly and it’s so not what it’s about. The pressure of time constraints (only 10 more days till Christmas!) combined with self-imposed expectations (I have to make everything Pinterest perfect!) causes anxiety to build and makes me want to either throw away my glue gun or punch a mall Santa in the face. Or, run to the store and buy pre-made Christmas cookies. Oh the horror, especially if you know me, because pre-made is not my way. Although there’s nothing wrong with it, do what you gotta do to keep your sanity.
Other’s expectations are a trap. For me, this year at least, the best thing I can do is figure out what’s important. Separate the good from the best and do only the best.
I refuse to let a holiday dictate one more minute of crazy because it’s supposed to be a season about loving and giving.
The season we celebrate how love came down to dwell.
Emmanuel, God with us, the reason for the season.
To help you (and me too) get a handle back on Christmas I’m giving you permission to rest, let go and relax. Join me won’t you?
I hereby authorize you to do these 5 things:
- Prioritize. What has to be done vs our lofty expectations. I get ‘kitchen crazy’ this time of year and come up with way too many things I want to make and blog about. I’m having to learn to simplify, modify and unclutter my life.
- Make a list. Lists help you deal with the details. We can’t escape some of the holiday madness especially if family or guests are coming to visit. Lists help you break the days down into manageable chunks. My favorite thing about lists is this: you get to cross things out as they get done. I get particular pleasure crossing those suckers off. my. list!
- Do something proactive every day. Wrap presents, bake the family’s favorite goodies, address and mail cards, put up the tree, get the guest room ready.
- Pray. Yes, pray. Pray and let the Lord help you make sense of this season. He’ll whisper His wisdom to keep you on course and unstressed. He’ll help you know what’s essential and what’s not. Take time in His presence every day even when time is the one thing you have too little of.
- Relax. I’m quite certain if I don’t get everything done on my list everyone will survive. They’ll survive at your house too. But if I make myself crazy, I’ll end up sucking all the joy out of my world and Christmas will deflate like a blow up snowman on January 2nd.
Are you with me this year? Can we just agree to do what we can, relax and let the rest go? It’s not a contest to see who can wear themselves out the quickest. It’s an opportunity to show love by doing special things for the ones we love the most. Give yourself a break. I promise you, you’ll enjoy the holidays so much more. Pinky-swear!