It’s the beginning of November. Whether you want to hear it or not, the holidays are upon us. This is usually a time where we are extra busy tacking on holiday parties and family get togethers as well as attempts to navigate the craziness of the mall to buy gifts. We never actually take time to slow down and enjoy the holidays.
It’s easy to rush so much that we miss the whole holiday season. Rushing does not mean you are getting things done, it is about anxiety and stress. It is a feeling of fear that if we don’t get everything done something bad will happen. And by the end of Christmas, I usually feel like I need a vacation from the Christmas holidays.
So this year, I am going to challenge myself and you to take back the holidays. Slow down and focus on what is important: spending more time with loved ones and ultimately feeling more joy and peace.
Prioritize your Time
During the holidays, we overschedule, overcommit, and try to rush to fit it all in. Instead of planning for perfection, prioritize your time with the expectation that things may go awry.
Be realistic from the start on how much you can accomplish without wearing yourself out. Can you manage to go to holiday parties every weekend? Are you prepared to take on a holiday meal on your own? If not, don’t be embarrassed to say no or ask for help.
God bless the internet because you can do most, if not all, of your Christmas shopping online. Use a store you trust, be strategic and plan to get all of your gifts ordered ahead of time. Give yourself some grace and time to relax.
Unplug from the Internet
No one can actually enjoy time together if they are busy scrolling through their phones. It is a huge time zapper and can trap us into comparing our holidays with others. I see families at restaurants all the time where each member is typing away on their phone as if no one else is at the table sitting right next to them. What’s the point of hanging out if you aren’t going to pay attention to each other?
Put your phone or computer away and take time to unplug and enjoy face-time with your loved ones. Don’t answer work emails. Don’t document every moment on your Instagram stories. Humans were meant for face-to-face interaction and we need to show the younger generations that it can be done. Live vicariously with the people in front of you, not through others on a screen.
Remind Yourself of What You are Grateful For
When our days get hectic, it can be difficult to remember what we are grateful for. Make a list of things that you are thankful for and carry it around.
An attitude of gratitude can turn any mood around for the better. Focus on those things instead of all the tasks you need to check off your list. When you do, the seeming long line at the grocery store or airport won’t seem as bad.
Focus on the Reason for the Season
Christmas is already haunting the local Target and Walmarts. It is hard sometimes with all the holiday consumerism to remember the true meaning behind why we celebrate Christmas. The reason for the season is to remember God’s greatest act of love, sending His only Son who would grow up to save us from our sins (John 3:16).
Nothing about being in relationship with Jesus Christ speaks of stress or anxiety. In Him we can find calm, peace, rest, grace. I don’t know about you but I definitely want to focus on that Good News rather than rushing through holidays.
Let go of the Hollywood fairytale holiday mindset and enjoy the holidays the way God intended you to. Be present, have an attitude of gratitude, and rejoice in Jesus Christ.