By: Amanda Frittz
Is it just me or can Christmas time be stressful? Your social life goes through the roof and you have a ton of extra financial demands. I love Christmas, but by the time it comes, I’m often ready to lay low and take a vacation from Christmas. The burnout is real.
But, if I’m being honest my burnout from Christmas comes from overbooking myself and feeling pressured to buy everyone the perfect gift. Yup… nothing that actually has to do with the meaning of Christmas. My daily Advent reading is not causing my burnout, that much is for sure.
Needless to say, in the past, I have not been focussing on what I should during this time of year. Yes, of course, having community is important and you should make time to gather with friends but not to the point where you feel swamped week after week.
Christmas is so much more than giving gifts, seeing family, and attending parties, and that’s why I wanted to make a list of 7 things to remember this Christmas as a reminder to myself and you.
You Already Received the Ultimate Gift
When you’re unwrapping all your gifts this Christmas remember the gift you already received, Jesus. Whether you end up getting what you asked for or not, you’ve already received the most valuable gift in this world. You have been gifted your salvation and the promise to inherit God’s kingdom.
Find Time To Remember God
Recognize that Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus’s birth and God’s great gift to us. That being said, try to incorporate some traditions that take time to remember and glorify God. This could be as simple as singing your favorite Christian Christmas song or reading Christmas stories from Matthew and Luke in the New Testament.
Enjoy Time with Family
Visiting with family can be so so great, but for many people, it can also be quite stressful. Try to prepare your heart before this busy season and be ready to go into Christmas with a forgiving and patient attitude towards those you have a hard time connecting with.
Be Patient with Retail and Grocery Store Workers
I know lines can be ridiculous this time of year, and if you’re last minute shopping you may be in a rush, but remember it’s not the worker’s fault. I worked in retail for several years and we were almost always understaffed and dealing with people calling out for their shifts in addition to poorly trained seasonal employees.
In fact, I would even ask you to cheer on your cashier. Let them know they are doing great! Trust me, they will have a number of grumpy customers complaining throughout the day, and a few compliments would surely cheer them up.
Presents Don’t Have to Break the Bank
For me, the most stressful part about Christmas has always been budgeting for gift giving. I’m a huge people pleaser so I can be guilty of spending more money than I have and scrounging to come up with enough money after Christmas. Over the last year, I have been working on not being a people pleaser and keeping up the right appearances. I’ve been more straightforward and in doing so I have been forced to eat some humble pie. So, this year to save money Adam and I decided to not gift any of our friends. We are simply gifting each other and our family.
I love this quote on giving, it’s a great reminder that you don’t need to spend money to give gifts to people.
“Christmas Gift Suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness
To an opponent, tolerance
To a friend, your heart
To a customer, service
To all, charity
To every child, a good example
To yourself, respect.”
– Oren Arnold
Find Time to Relax
This is so important. Find time to relax. If you’re married, make sure you find time to relax with your spouse. It’s so easy to get overbooked and spend a lot of time with your spouse and friends but still feel unconnected to your spouse because you’ve had no quality alone time together.
Adam and I are guilty of doing this just last month. We booked up our social calendars with friends and family and were continuously surrounded by each other yet we had no one on one conversations. This left us feeling a little drained and resentful in our marriage. Luckily, we came together and talked about it and were able to quickly solve the issue with some long conversations and a fun date night.
It’s really easy to get wrapped up in what you want or “need” during this time of the year. Try to focus on others, and how you can bless them.
Maybe that means giving your husband a massage, cooking your parents dinner, or volunteering somewhere. Try to think of ways you can help bless people this holiday season and take action.