Stressless Christmas

Ten dozen cookies with melted green topping
Chipped half of my nails, but still need to go shopping
Get Presents for everyone, make fudge for the masses
Tame wonky-curled hair and get glitter in lashes
Suck in my tummy to fit in this skirt
Stiletto heels will not strut through that dirt . . .
Crash on the yard in the party’s full view
Pinterest failing this season, how about you?
Christmas music spins its Norman Rockwell scenes into the air, while real folks live a more techno-rave beat. Whirl in chaotic fervor and crash. We press hard into the race for meeting HGTV standards. Surpass the neighbors’ outdoor lighting wattage. Give more handmade gifts than Aunt Edna. Those painted reindeer sweaters look so nice on Pinterest. Of course, every person you’ve spoken to in the last twenty years will be disappointed if they do not receive your charming Christmas letter by December 21st. Facebook insists we accept all ten party invitations and show up looking like a celebrity.
Ever feel like it’s impossible to keep up with the holidays, much less enjoy them?
Turn down some invitations.
Allow me to suggest a simple solution. Let’s skip the “holidays” and celebrate Christmas instead. Consider the spiritual origin of our season. Our Savior birthed Himself into a humble life in order to set us free. Love and grace define Christmas, not perfectionism or purchases. Guard this time of year as a sacred place in which stress must not be given authority. Toss the magazine world and hug your loved ones.
For a stressless Christmas, list your activities and your available time. Cross out the joy-vampires sucking life out of you. Prioritize your values and schedule activities accordingly. Those with valid input will respect you for guarding time according to values. Critics, though we love or work for them, often fail to honor things of divine value. If we live according to the standards of critics, we’ll allow our lives to run completely into the ground.
Here are a few examples of shifting from holiday chaos to Christmas celebration:

  • Turn down some invitations.
  • Don’t bake unless you enjoy it.
  • Don’t craft unless it thrills you.
  • Spend more time with life-giving people.
  • Schedule rest and meditation into your calendar as a healthcare appointment. IT IS.
  • Unless you have a wardrobe and makeup team, don’t expect to look like a celebrity. Real friends like you the way you are.

Love more and do less this year for Christmas. With a focus on Christ, joy will be the best gift you choose to receive.
Merry Christmas,

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