By: Jenifer Metzger
Let's face it, the holidays can be stressful for many of us. We have so many extra things added to our calendars, our to-do lists, and our shopping lists. With all this extra, we tend to feel exhausted and irritable. And we all know how the saying goes: if mama/wife ain't happy, no one is happy.
Your husband doesn't want to see you overloaded and your children don't want a Scrooge or crazy woman for a mom. Let's resolve now to not let this happen to each other this Christmas season.
Here are a few tips to keep you sane for the holidays:
1. Do not for any reason whatsoever skip your time with God! Girl, I know you are busy. But let me just tell you something. satan loves when we get busy because so often the first thing we let go of is our quiet time. Don't let this happen to you. Make your time with God a priority. Start your day with prayer and Bible reading. But don't stop there! Add little praise breaks throughout your day. Set your alarm on your phone if you have to. Whatever it takes to keep God at the forefront of your day each and every day. Along with this, do not skip church services. You need your church family and they need you!
2. Talk openly, honestly and calmly with your husband about what is a must for your family, what can be done if you have extra time and what can be skipped. When my kids were really little we had Christmas at our home with the kids, then went to my parents home for Christmas there, then to my grandparents for Christmas with them. Sounds okay, right? But it was all the same people, just different houses. Silly! We all decided to do just 1 stop that included everyone. So much easier! There are also Christmas parties with friends and schools and organizations. Do you and your husband feel like all of those parties are a must or are there a few you can skip and it be okay? Talk it through and clear out that calendar!
3. Let's talk Christmas cards. Years ago Christmas cards were a must. You wanted to share with your family and friends, and even those you haven't had any contact with in ages, and tell them all the things you and the family are up to. It was great! Yet the truth is, we have social media these days. Your family and friends and the ones you haven't seen since grade school already know what you are up to and how your kids are growing. Truthfully, social media is a 365 day Christmas card. Do you really have to spend crazy amounts of money on cards and postage, not to mention the fact that it takes all day to write out and address all those cards? Instead, pick a dozen people you really feel like you need to connect with and send cards to them. The rest can enjoy seeing your Christmas picture on all your social sites.
4. Intentionally keep at least 1 night a week completely clear. If I could tell you to up it to at least 2 nights a week, I would. Mark this night in your calendar with a big red X or the would family or maybe the word NO so you are reminded to not put anything in that little box. Whatever you need to do, do it. Guard this night with all of your might. Make this night a night of sit down dinner at the table with the family. Watch a Christmas movie while you eat cookies and drink cocoa. Play a board game. And go to bed on time. Use this night to connect with your husband and kids without the hustle and bustle outside your door.
5. Get some sleep! It is so hard to turn off those Christmas movies! It's also hard to put down your work when you are busy. But friends, we need our sleep. If there are not enough hours in your day, maybe you are just spinning too many plates and it is time to lay one, or a few, down. This applies all year long, not just through the holidays. Make sure you are getting to bed on time each night. Allow yourself 6-8 hours of sleep. You need it. And your husband and kids need you to be well rested. Take care of you!
Okay friends, let's do this together. Let's have a relaxing, fun, memorable, Christ-centered Christmas!
Are you reading this and thinking, but that's not me. I don't find the holidays stressful. Bless you! You are awesome! May I ask a favor? Find a woman who is stressed out and help her. Pray with her and for her. Show her how to be less stressed and more peaceful through the holidays.