The happiest season of the year is usually the busiest, most stressful season as well.
Church programs, decorating the inside/outside of the home, baking holiday treats, card sending, gift purchasing, parties, family obligations . . . and of course everything has to be perfect!
My goodness, no wonder people get sick over the holidays! Stress lowers our immune system. If we attempt to commit to everything, we’re exhausted! We can’t express our true feelings either, so we mask them under “graciousness.” Well putting on a false front makes us incredibly tired, stressed and yes . . . hungry.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
FACT: People are more important than programs and presents. Learn to say, “I’m really sorry, not this year” and prioritize.
Why do we feel we must do so much and forget the reason for the season? Jesus gets tossed somewhere near the paper mache’ donkey and plastic sheep while Santa gets worshipped!
My happiest memory of Christmas was making gifts when we were too poor to buy many. I hardly remember the presents but I remember the closeness of family that year.
Refresh your mind. We are so busy that we forget what Christmas is really all about! So the first thing we can do to relieve stress is to prioritize. Jesus wasn’t born in a Holiday Inn so I kind of think materialism wasn’t important to him. Neither was having the most dust free home in Arizona. He’s a God of organization but do you really think he expects perfection from you? Does anyone?
Remember Jesus in Luke 10 41,42 gently rebuking Martha when she complained that her sister wasn’t doing her chores but listening and sitting with Jesus?
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Pray that we indeed can choose what’s the most important aspect of Christmas; reflecting on Jesus’s birth. Faithfully, respectfully, give God our priorities. He knows what’s best for us which is “the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2.
Now take care of your body by committing to only placing healthy food inside of it. Just as a car engine doesn’t run on sludge, we need to provide healthy energy which empowers us. During this month-long season it’s eat, eat, eat! Fancy sugary desserts, party appetizers, heavy drinks – your system doesn’t need it, it’ll become sluggish. A few goodies at each party is fine but don’t overfill it with fat and sugar or again, you’ll inhibit your immune system.
For your spirit, stay in the Word. Remember the true reason for the season. It isn’t so Molly can have a princess dress or Matthew can own a new skateboard. When did our nation become such a group of takers and not givers? The best gift you can give a child at Christmas, besides salvation, is to take them to a retirement center, homeless shelter, soup kitchen or similar charity. Have them read, play, serve or assist others in need. Give the gift of time, gratitude and yourself. Memories are a wonderful legacy to leave children.
In one of this year’s worst Christmas television commercials, a husband presents a car to his wife. Happy at first, she then is disappointed it’s not the different one that suddenly drives by. What ingratitude!
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”
Let us be forever grateful for the wonderful gift God gave us, the birth of our Lord who offers eternal salvation. Choose priorities wisely, choose Christ.