They are quickly approaching.
Sweet time with family.
Quaint parties with friends.
Soft carols around the Christmas tree with a warm cup of hot cocoa.
If only it really were just that simple.
The reality is that for most of us, the holidays represent a very stressful time full of unlimited hustle and bustle, marching from event to event.
The holidays mean corralling your family into a Christmas picture.
It means cooking a perfect meal.
It means tons of shopping when a lot of the time you aren't even really sure what you are looking for or shopping for. and quite often you are trying to get this done with crying kids or whining teens.
The holidays mean time with a family member you might not like or a party with a coworker you don't always mesh with on the job.
It is the stress of mailing Christmas cards, attending church events, being ready for school events, planning long car rides, wrapping huge piles of gifts, keeping everyone in a happy mood... on and on and on.
So, how can you keep peace during a very and sadly not-so-peaceful time?
1. Don't Go For Perfect - from wrapping to cooking to clothing to the tree, moms often shoot for perfection. Remember life with family and friends and kids isn't perfect... and that is ok.
2. Don't Plan So Much - Keep the events to a minimum. Your family doesn't have to attend and do everything available each holiday. Let your family rest and enjoy the holiday together.
3. Don't Push So Hard - If you are tired, take time to rest. Take time to enjoy. Take time to experience the holidays. Pushing through chaos in an exhausted state isn't a way to spend the holidays. The holidays will not fail if you are not doing it all.
4. Don't Expect Hallmark - Keep your expectations realistic to your situation. Be thankful and choose joy even if your family holidays don't look like a Hallmark commercial.
5. Don't Forget the Purpose - Keep Jesus first in all things. Keep your priorities for the holidays centered on Him. Make sure your family knows the real reason for giving thanks and celebrating Jesus' birth. Everything else takes second place.
What are some ways you keep peace in your holiday season?
Fun on the journey,