Resting during the Christmas holidays. Is that even possible? If the thought of the approaching Christmas holiday makes you feel overwhelmed, you’ll want to read more! Marci Seither shares 4 ways you can be intentional about putting rest in the Christmas holiday rush. She breaks it down into a convenient acrostic that makes it easy to remember so you can actually REST.
I recently talked with Marci on the Your Hope-Filled Perspective Podcast. With the upcoming holidays, it’s important to rest effectively to refill and refuel. You won’t want to miss that episode! Listen here: How to Rest Effectively to Refill and Refuel when Life is Busy – Episode 187.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
Putting REST in the Christmas Holiday RUSH
by Marci Seither
“It is only sixty days until Christmas!” I heard someone announce their Christmas countdown while buying candy for their neighborhood Fall Festival.
“And only 61 until Christmas is over.” whispered the voice of my inner Scrooge.
That was a terrible way to think about one of the most precious days of the year; and yet, I constantly felt overwhelmed as soon as pumpkin spice lattes were served at local cafes and twinkle lights draped every porch rail.
But, that was then.
And, putting REST in the holiday rush.
Rest isn’t something you check off your to-do list, it is something that you should embrace. And for someone like me, it might take several years of work to really get into a good rhythm of what real rest feels like. I have broken it down into a convenient acrostic that helps me remember and I hope it helps you as well.
R – Resonate
Resonate (v) the reinforced vibration of a body caused by the vibration of another body.
Something deep inside us is moved because we are in contact with something or someone that is moving. Have you ever found yourself listening to a beautiful choir and noticed your eyes welling up with unexplainable tears? Or seen a play that caused you to recall parts that stirred the deepest parts of your soul? That is what resonating feels like. The Holidays are a time when even the simple things evoke memories, such as smelling the pie your grandmother always made, going to see Christmas lights around the neighborhood, and baking plates of cookies. Ask yourself, what resonates in my heart during the season?
E – Expectations
We tend to have high expectations of others and ourselves, especially during the holidays. Will this be the perfect gift? Are we all wearing matching pajamas for our Christmas card photo? Will I have to go to a company Christmas party and talk to total strangers about their hernia surgery? Why wasn’t I invited to the cookie exchange?
“In the Morning, O Lord, you hear my voice, in the morning I lay my request before you and wait in expectation.”
When in doubt, pray it out. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, give your event schedule and expectations to the Lord and ask Him to help you decide how to spend the Holiday Season. Basically, if it causes unnecessary stress or it won’t really matter in about five years, chances are you already know the answer. Listen to your inner life coach and move forward.
Most of the time we are disappointed because our expectations are not met.
S – Stamina
The holiday season feels like a sprint from the first pumpkin carving event until the last chorus of Auld Lang Syne is sung. Advent requires the pacing of our energy and emotions so we have the stamina to finish well. Part of having stamina is learning to breathe.
Just like an athlete has to control their breathing, we need to do the same when it comes to the holiday rush.
Several years ago, I signed up for a sprint triathlon. The first part of the event was the open water swim. When the starting gun fired to begin the race, I was off. I was making great time, but all of a sudden I couldn’t feel my limbs. My body went from being horizontal to vertical. When I looked around me, the guy on the kayak was encouraging me to keep swimming, but I couldn’t respond. I realized that this is what it feels like before you drown.
I went to my back and pulled my hands on top of my stomach before slowly moving my feet and heading toward the shore. As soon as I was in shallow water, I stood up and unzipped the wetsuit I had been wearing. I took several deep breaths and kept moving. The wetsuit was new and I hadn’t swam with it enough to know that it restricted my breathing when I took my freestyle strokes.
Just like an athletic event, the Holiday season requires stamina.
Giving yourself room to breathe is vital.
T – Thankful
How would our stress level be lessened if we spent more time praising the Lord and being thankful versus wearing ourselves out and complaining? When we have that attitude of gratitude, it shifts our focus back to the real reason we are celebrating.
Instead of looking at what we didn’t get done or comparing ourselves to others, we need to look at what is in our own hands, our own hearts, and in our own home.
“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”
This is the season of peace, love, and joy. I hope you will find rest so you can enjoy it to the fullest.
Side note: Because I know the holiday season can overflow into the new year, I have started calling the first month of the calendar year “Jan-NO-ary”. I do not take on anything new until February. This gives me time to regroup, recoup, and enjoy the season knowing I don’t have a pile of things to do as soon as the Christmas lights are down and the ornaments are put away.
What ways have you found to put rest back into the holiday rush? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Marci Seither
Marci Seither’s writing career began after her humor article was published in a small-town newspaper over twenty years ago. Since then, she has authored two books and hundreds of articles for local papers as well as Guideposts, Focus on the Family, and Clubhouse Magazine. Her biggest joy, besides being married to John for 37 years and raising six kiddos is spending time with her grandkids in the kitchen.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Marci is giving away a free copy of her book, Lakeside Retreat: Life-Giving Devotions from a Restful Shore.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about resting during the holidays even though life is so busy and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, November 21, 2022. Continental United States only.