How do you put the world on halt, and tell those you’ve committed to that you just can’t do?
How do you draw the line between enough and too much?
Who determines what is adequate and appropriate and when we cross the line to excessive?
Have you ever wrestled with any of those questions?
I think it’s common for us to hope for, and even strive for, a picture-perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas. But the reality is, that picture is fictitious and the longer we strive for that, the more exhausted we become, and the less we enjoy the holidays. Today we’re going to be talking about stressing less at Christmas.
Watch on YouTube:
Quotables from the episode:
So much of our stress at Christmas comes from several key areas:
- Keeping tradition for tradition sake
- People pleasing
- Unrealistic & often unvoiced expectations of ourselves and others
- Trying to prove something to someone (or yourself)
It’s easy to talk about Christmas and refocusing on Christ at Christmas but what does that look like?
- Resting in His presence
- Spending time with The Gift (Jesus) and The Gift Giver (Our Heavenly Father)
- Letting Him take care of us
- Trading in our to-do list for rest
- Recognizing what the busyness means/truly reflects
Practical Tips for Stressing Less This Christmas:
- Let each family member choose ONE kind of cookie to be baked and let them help make them
- Let the lights on the tree, and Christmas cards received, be the tree decorations
- Let the wrapping of the gifts be the love with which they were purchased
- Make the Christmas dinner be comprised of each family member’s favorite dish
- Consider catering the Christmas meal
- Resolve to be okay with paper plates and napkins so you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the people you love
A hope-filled perspective for a less stressful Christmas:
- God doesn’t put these heavy burdens on us
- God invites us into His rest, not for Him but for our benefit
- God offers us the chance to choose His rest, but He doesn’t force us
- Fewer expectations means fewer disappointments
- Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
- Hebrews 4:1 “God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it…”
Recommended Resources: (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)).
- Ways to Create a More Peaceful Christmas
- Quit Striving for the Picture Perfect Christmas
- When Doing Less is Actually Doing More at Christmas
- How to Relieve Stress This Christmas
- What I Really Want This Christmas
- Content at Christmas
- Free Download: How To Fight Fearful/Anxious Thoughts and Win
- Award-Winning Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- Breaking Anxiety’s Grip Free Study Guide
- Free 7-Day YouVersion Bible Reading Plan for Breaking Anxiety’s Grip
- Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
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Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson