As a recovering procrastinator, I find the Christmas season helpful. There is a limited time in which to decorate and celebrate. Therefore I do it. I don’t put off what needs doing.
Yes, we have all year to shop, and we can decorate in mid-November; but generally, there’s a December time frame and I am therefore moved to action. Also, I like Christmas!
Most of us like the Christmas season – primarily because we appreciate the significance of Christ’s birth. But sometimes we are simply overwhelmed. It’s all too big. Too many activities, too much food, too much shopping, too many cookies, too many decorations, too many carols, too much traffic, too many requirements. Whew!
Our ladies Bible study leader who absolutely loves Christmas, said one year she was scurrying around when it seemed the Lord spoke to her. “Sweetheart, you don’t have to do all this for me.”
Oh. What do you want, Lord?
The root of “celebrate” is “gather to honor.” Doesn’t that put a single beam of light on the topic?
Instead of dreading a whirlwind in December, we can ask, “Lord, what would you like as we gather to honor you?”
Time alone with Him, asking our husband’s opinion, talking with the children can help prepare personal and family attitudes and enable a simpler approach. Just being calm makes things simpler.
Maybe one of these simplifiers will bless you and yours:
- Ask family members to name their favorite parts of Christmas and narrow down to those things.
- Check to see if expectations are coming from within you rather than from others.
- Accept limitations cheerfully. I’m not a super present wrapper, but I enjoy the fabulous bows made by one of our family who is gifted that way. What about a tabletop tree? Or outdoor lights only as high as you can reach?
- Limit the number of gifts. Draw names. Select a charity and give there instead – a great way for family or friends to bond and minister to others.
- Ask others to pitch in with you. Decorate each other’s tree. Bake cookies together and split the makings.
- Focus on one thing at a time. I haven’t decorated yet. I need to focus on part of the retreat coming up in January. When that is done, deck the halls! Hey, I’m still in the window! And very peaceful.
What helps you simplify Christmas?