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With the Christmas season looming, I see people’s stress level escalating as shopping, wrapping, baking, sending Christmas cards, entertaining, concerts, and party committements arrive. Are you demanding so much of yourself this holiday season that the joy you want to be feeling isn’t there?
Do you have so much you believe you need to do that you don’t have time to do what you want to do in remembering the reason for the season?
Your family’s future memories are precious. And people’s most vibrant memories are from events that happened in their youth. But you must pay for those future memories now.
Do you need to set different priorities and perhaps, re-arrange your time management focus to create the kind of holiday atmosphere and events that will insure your family’s future happy memories and events that instill Christian values? If so,
- Can you eliminate some of the things on your to-do list?
- Can you delegate some of your tasks? For example, make only one or two kinds of cookies and invite friends to do a cookie exchange. You will have the same number of cookies, but the holiday platter your guests will see will hold a wide array of cookie varieties, all homemade and delicious.
- Can you find ways to save time by doing things differently? How about shopping online? Sending online holiday greeting cards? Purchasing frozen cookie dough and adding your own decorations? Using gift bags instead of wrapping with paper and ribbon?
If you find ways to gain more time during this busy season, maybe you can start a new holiday tradition for your family to do together. That one thing you do every year, that brings joy to your family now, will become a precious memory in the future, and may be something your children will continue with their own families. Here are some suggestions:
- Serve a meal together at a homeless shelter, and take time to chat with the guests.
- Make a gingerbread house or village.
- Invite a student or soldier who is away from their home and family to your home for a meal.
- Go caroling around your neighborhood.
- Select a needy family. Buy gifts and deliver them on Christmas Eve day.
- Create a photo album together of pictures you have taken throughout the year.
- Visit a zoo and bring a picnic lunch.
- Go ice skating, skiing, dancing, or do some activity together. Combine it with a meal.
- Invite someone to your home and make Christmas cookies.
- Have a favorite Christmas movie? Watch it together with your favorite snacks.
- Make a special meal and deliver it to a shut-in, but stay to eat it with them.
- Pack goody bags or baskets and deliver them to needy people you choose ahead of time.
- Invite someone to attend a candlelight Christmas Eve church service with your family.
I am sure you can find new traditions that fills your family’s heart with joy this season. If your own family is far away, make your “family” the people in your apartment building or the people you work with. Maybe it’s your Bible study group.
If you already have special traditions, don’t get so busy that you neglect doing them.
Christmas is a time of giving. So, find a way to cut back on doing the busy things of life during this season and give of yourself – to your own families and to others.Time is the most precious commodity we have. Savor it during this holiday season. And don’t forget to honor and give thanks for our wonderful Lord and Savior whom we celebrate this season.
Have a blessed Christmas.
Blessings for a simpler life,
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- Christmas Joy