Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

christmas-2910468_1920The holidays are supposed to be a time of remembering the incredible gift we received from God–the birth of
Christ. But a number of things can steal the  joy of the season. So make a few changes to rid your bah hum bug mood!

Let’s start with celebrating too early. Christmas seems to get bigger and bigger and longer as the stores put up  decorations in October! Well, I just ignored those sections of the store and thought, it’s too much, too soon. When it comes to Christmas, delay a little to make it more special.

Money, money, money...have a budget. Nothing can spoil the joy like debt. Don’t fall victim to the spending fury. Develop a budget ahead of time and stick to it. Think homemade gifts, service and other ways you can give besides spending money on lavish gifts. And watch your on-line purchases as those dollars can really add up. Tis the season to be jolly, so spend within your means.

Plan and then plan some more. Nothing creates stress like simply reacting to last minute details and having no plan. Get organized, think logistics and work ahead. Shop early or even throughout the year if you are a really good planner. Cook ahead and make travel plans early enough to save on costs. Think ahead, make lists and delegate the tasks. The key is to lessen your reactivity.

Gear up for the relatives. Focus on their good points, minimize time with them if they are particularly difficult, and remember this is the time of good cheer. Wait for that family fight until after the holidays. Agree to disagree and determine to be civil to each other. Make a decision– I will enjoy the positive parts of Christmas with my family this year. I will be nice even if they are not. And I will intentional try to create positive memories.

Don’t be the Grinch. Get off the commercialization and plan spiritual activities to celebrate the holidays. This will ground you and help you focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Attend Christmas services, read the Christmas story, watch movies, plays and attend choral events that put Christ front and center. This will help you get along better with others and approach the season with true joy because the message of Christmas is joy to the world–the Savior comes!

 

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