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Christmas day

Ah, the joys of the holidays. Or should I say stress and panic? Which is it for you? Do you feel that Christmas joy, or do you feel that uneasy dread that comes with the responsibilities of Christmas? With the holidays drawing closer and closer, your stress level seems to be going up, instead of down. Am I right?

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful,  fun-filled time instead of a time of year that you dread. It’s so easy to get stressed about buying gifts and getting the perfect present for everyone this year. Not to mention looking nice at your holiday work parties. There are other things that can stress you out too, like cooking dinner for your family and friends on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day.

Have you ever stopped and wondered why you are so stressed? It could be because you’re taking your eyes off the focus of the season. The reason for the season is celebrating Jesus’ birth and what it means for us as Christians. He came down to Earth to give you a choice of accepting eternal life. He also gives you the opportunity to be with Him in Heaven forever. It can be a hard thing to focus on God and His good gifts to you in the middle of the holiday rush.

The last thing you’ve probably thought about is how good you have it in life because of your stress level. In reality though, if you’re stressing yourself out to the point of exhaustion both mentally, and physically, it’s time to take a step back and remember that all the stress isn’t worth it.

If you obsess over the gifts that you’re supposed to be buying for your loved ones and going into debt because of them, you can make changes. Only buy what you can afford and don’t drive yourself to the brink of insanity trying to please everyone during this special time of year. Stressing yourself over buying gifts makes it a whole lot less fun. It’s supposed to bring you joy to give gifts to the people you love, not drive you to the brink of insanity or drive you into debt.

Don’t drive yourself nuts thinking that someone won’t like the gift you bought them. It only adds more pressure to you, and you don’t need that. Remember, Jesus is the gift of the season. It is better to give the love of God through showing Jesus’  love by following His example. Wouldn’t you instead enjoy the holiday than dread it?

Instead of stressing, spend more time with the people you care about: your friends and your family. Do holiday festivities, like baking Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music, or building snowmen. Go tobogganing and sledding, or try skiing for the first time. Swap Christmas stories with your friends and reinvent old traditions that your parents taught you. Make Christmas fun for you and your family. Enjoy spending time with your family.  Go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas day and listen to the choirs’ sing.

Do you remember the innocence that you had at Christmas time as a child? Retell the Christmas story to your kids and tell them about how Jesus came to Earth. Seeing your kids face light up as you tell them about Jesus and all the other Christmas stories can bring such joy to your heart. Santa’s magic sleigh and how his reindeer fly.

Watch Christmas movies such as A Christmas Story, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Polar Express, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, both the animated and cartoon version. Remember the classics like Frosty, and Rudolph and Santa Clause is Coming To Town? How about The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen?

Never forget the glow that you had in your eyes on Christmas eve and the joy in your heart on Christmas morning on Christmas day. You were excited about the gifts you were going to get. Carry those traditions and memories in your heart and remember how blessed you are that you have another Christmas to look forward to. Even though it can be stressful, remember how much fun Christmas used to be for you.

Jesus is the true reason for the season. Rejoice in Him, and you will find joy in everything you do. Even during the hard times, remember how blessed you are instead of how stressed you are. Count your blessings.

Keep your mind and heart focused on the fun aspects of Christmas and on Jesus being the true reason for the season and you can never go wrong. Make new memories this year to last a lifetime.

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