Every year round about Thanksgiving, the same question always comes: “Mom, what do you want for Christmas this year?”
I remember Christmases from my childhood, when my brother and I would study the Sears-Roebuck toy catalog, all the while dreaming of the things that would show up under the tree with our names attached.
As a child and into my early teen years, things seemed so important. Amassing the newest and greatest toys or fads and comparing our holiday inheritance with friends upon our return to school following Christmas break. “What did you get? Want to know what I got?”
As I stilled my heart during morning quiet time with the Lord, He spoke to me and said, “You know what you’re struggling with is not something you battle just during the Christmas season. You have a tendency to jump into problem solving and doing mode.”
The more God got a hold of my heart and spoke to me, the more I realized that my problem solving and doing mode excludes God from the process. It takes God out of the picture.
Read more for my best tip on how to relieve stress at Christmas and throughout the year.
As fall has come to a close and the crest into winter has descended upon us (or as much winter as we get to experience in North Texas), while we begin preparations for Christmas, my thoughts keep returning to Mary and Joseph prior to Jesus’s birth.
Why was it important that Mary and Joseph go back to Bethlehem? What does their obedience mean for us in modern times?
The holidays are always portrayed as a merry, cheerful time, yet not everyone feels that way. Many feel alone and isolated throughout the holiday season. Many people experience increased depression and anxiety during the holidays. Crisis hotlines experience an increase in number of calls, and domestic violence tends to rise.
Our memories of better days, the loss of our loved ones, and financial hardship or job instability can all add to the stress. Sometimes we have to be intentional about caring for ourselves, especially during a stressful holiday season.
With the change of seasons upon us, the Lord has had me consider the importance of us going back to our roots. Our roots impact our past, present and future. Returning to our roots helps us understand where we came from, what is valuable and what path to take in the future.
My family loves Christmas. I mean LOVES it! For the last several years, our Christmas decorations have come out in October. It started the year my husband was diagnosed and underwent treatment for cancer. A dear friend came to visit to help out. She asked what else she could do and I asked her if she’d help me decorate for the holidays. I wanted the home cheerful while we were going through a difficult time, and I knew that without someone else’s help, decorations were likely to not make it up that year. Ever since, we’ve continued to decorate early. My son plays Christmas carols intermittently throughout the year, but fairly steadily from September or October through the holidays.
While giving gifts is one of my love languages, I have to admit that one of my favorite things on Christmas is our stockings. I don’t need much nor want much in the way of presents, but ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved the little surprises stuffed in the fur capped oversized sock hanging from the mantle.
I’m always in search of the perfect stocking stuffers for my boys, husband, and in-laws. This year I thought it might be fun to share with you some of my favorite finds.