Christmas is just around the corner and I’m noticing my friends talking about the stress they are feeling with their upcoming schedules. Every year, we know this season is coming, but somehow it seems to catch us by surprise. We enter the last two weeks of the year wishing we had more time to do the things we really want to do, instead of the things that traditionally fill our calendars.
We do it to ourselves, don’t we? We over-schedule our days with obligations, the “should do’s” that we commit to instead of filling our days with things that nourish our soul. One friend said “I’m feeling like I need a redo on my year. My time has been so crazy and I regret not spending more time with my friends…. Starting today I’m taking back my time to do the things I enjoy as well as the things I’m obligated to.”
My response to that—just say no! Make a list of the things you feel obligated to do and apply these principles to lighten your load. Find freedom to savor your bountiful blessings in the final weeks of December.
- Tackle it. If something is a “have to,” but you are still dragging your feet, a change of attitude will make all the difference. Ask yourself, “What’s good about doing this? What will happen if I don’t?” Shift your mindset and focus on the good that will happen instead of how much you don’t want to do it. Then, get it done quickly so it won’t be hanging over your head any longer.
- Trade it. When you complain about doing a certain activity and your friend says, “Oh, I LOVE to do that!” then barter! Maybe you hate to wrap gifts, and you have a friend who does an exquisite job, but hates to bake cookies. You bake her cookies, she wraps your gifts, and everyone is happy! Or, if you can’t find anyone to trade with, then it’s perfectly okay to pay someone to help out. Remember, your attitude is much more important than whether or not you have homemade goodies or beautiful bows.
- Trash it. Do you “have to” do this, or is your attitude “I LOVE this and I GET to do it!” If it is not essential, then just don’t do it! Saying no to the things that stress you out opens up space for the things that bring peace, love and joy to your life such as spending time with friends, playing games with your children or having a date night with your special guy.
And a fourth T–TREASURE this time of year. Remember why we celebrate, and let the love of Christ fill your life. He came as the “Prince of Peace,” not the Commander of Chaos, so let Him rule your heart and mind this Christmas season and always.
Here are a few more tips to keep the PEACE in your holidays.