You might say that I have lost my mind if I said that I have a stress free Christmas. Well, my sanity is still intact and we have had several Christmases that were stress-free in the past. I would like to tell you about the things I've learned to help reduce the stress during the Yuletide season.
READ GODíS WORD EVERY MORNING
Starting my day with Godís Word seems obvious, but sometimes gets left out. I need to hear from God & speak to God each day so I am strengthened and ready to be the mom He wants me to be. At breakfast, we have family devotions and can start our kidsí day on the right foot as well. Each of the kids know they are to read their Bible when they wake up. Of course, some need a little more reminding than others.
DONíT DO EVERY ACTIVITY THAT POPS UP
Although evident, it took me a couple of years to learn this lesson. In reality, my husband helped me lessen the activity in our lives during the holiday season.
In the past, I wanted our kids to experience everything available during this season. What was actually happening was I began to harbor stress that would usually explode around Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. (Iím sure none of you have ever experienced this.
WHICH ACTIVITIES DO I CHOOSE
What works for us is to select 1 or 2 Christmas activities to go to outside our home. Other than those 2 activities, most time is spent in our home. This way I'm not harboring stress by bothering my husband to attend one more Christmas activity each week. He is still providing for our family and loving it. Therefore, he is much happier going to a few activities and enjoying being with family and friends at home.
We enjoy having others in our home, so we capitalize on this. Our children help us clean & cook, so our work is reduced and I am not stressed when our guests arrive.
HAVE FUN AT HOME
Back then, I would had more activities for us than we have time for. In our recent Thanksgiving weekend, I picked which activities will wait until next year.
REMEMBER: YOU CANíT DO EVERY THING, EVERY YEAR.
I try to select activities that help my children to think of others, instead of themselves during Christmas. What we have done in the past is raise money for a missionary family. My kids would take orders for loaves of pumpkin bread and cookies. After baking and delivering them to their waiting customers, they would pay me back for the materials used. The rest of the money is used to buy games and toys that can be used by the needy.
This year we hope to have some kids over our house to bake cookies so their moms can do some uninterrupted Christmas shopping. A Christmas card stamping party for the younger kids would make a swell activity. Iím still thinking on how that will work.
I have some other ideas that are included in Advent, Christmas & Epiphany Celebration Ideas.
MAKE CHRISTMAS YOUR SCHOOL
If you home school, drop some of your formal schoolwork and have fun during this season. There are myriad of ways of incorporating math, writing & reading concepts as we do baking, shopping and preparing for Christmas day.
At our house, we still read aloud each morning and then work on a Christmas project. This may include handwork type crafts or other quiet projects.
DO YOU FEEL STRESSED DURING THE HOLIDAYS? Take a moment right now and prioritize all the activities available to your family. Choose only 1 or 2 activities that the entire family can enjoy and pass on the rest.
Its a wonderful experience having your family at home. Invite another over to roast marshmallows and have fun with the fellowship. And don't forget, keep your eyes and hearts focused on the Child Jesus. Without His love for mankind, you won't be celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
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Kerry Beck desires to offer you her special Advent activities for your family's Christmas Celebration this season. Her book also includes the helps to reduce holiday stress.
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