De-Stressing Your Christmas Holidays

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De-Stressing Your Christmas Holidays

The carols can be heard in the stores, the tinsel and trees are up. Santa has arrived at the mall and we are not even in Advent, the real beginning of the Christmas season (four Sundays before Christmas). More and more, the commercial hype of Christmas shopping attacks us earlier and earlier, already getting our blood pressure going and the need to start doing something to avoid the rush. Whether you are a new mom or have lots of years under your belt, the season of Christmas can cause a lot of anxiety. The push and pull of the world around us and our own expectations to do things just right can send us spinning. There’s a lot to do – card writing, gift buying, baking, entertaining, parties to go to, kids to drag back and forth, relatives to visit and it can be overwhelming! Although we all want and desire a Christmas filled with joy, peace, and love, our day to day life does not often testify to its presence in us. Ladies, we need to pull back the reins, take more control of the situation and steer it in the right direction!

Christmas is not about running around like headless chickens. It’s about faith and family, about loving and being loved and so much more. Christmas is about Christ – a God who so passionately loves us, he comes to us as a baby in a manger, living in an ordinary family, living a fully human life, reaching out to each of us with his boundless love, doing all it takes to save us and give us a better life. Too often we get carried away in the “doing”, and forget about “being” the good news of Christmas. Pull back and look at what you are doing and why you do it. What messages are you sending this year to your friends and family by the way you act? Do you reflect the true spirit of Christmas? De-junk what is not necessary and make some changes. Ease up on the pace, pull back on your expectations and fill your days with more smiles, laughter, happy conversations, memories worth cherishing. Realize less is more. Make time and energy focus on the loves of your life – love for God, love for others and love for yourself. Take time to pray. Read a good spiritual book. Share a hot chocolate with your kids. Lick the cookie bowl with them. Shop with your husband and make a date of it. Write a heartwarming letter to a friend. Visit a sick neighbor. Call an old friend. Focus on being more loving.

Christmas is about family, about caring, sharing, enjoying and relaxing. Too often relationships are stressed, whether within our own families or with siblings and parents.  What an amazing time of year to consciously invest in our family by strengthening the ties that bind us. Kindness is a super power that builds bridges and opens hearts.  This year, maybe consider taking the Kindness Challenge. This free daily reminder transforms and invigorates any relationship you wish to improve.  Bring peace and joy to those who need it most! Be Christmas for others!!!  Kindness makes all the difference.

You are the heart of the home. Radiate. Your kids don’t need memories of a stressed mom who’s barking orders, a nervous wreck or always upset that reality didn’t meet expectations. They need a mom who is deeply happy, relaxed, and loving. Now certainly I have to admit that this is no easy task during this very busy season. At the same time though, it is not an impossible goal to work towards. Know your strengths and weaknesses and steer them in healthier directions. Tweak the process each year until you achieve greater peace and joy, personally and as a family. No one has their act altogether in this department, but we can certainly learn from those who are moving in the right direction. Here is a wonderful list of super ideas on how to de-stress the season. Enjoy and please add to it. We all need the helping hand. Have a merry Christmas and may God bless you and your wonderful family abundantly during this holy season!

 

Enjoy these some short videos that may bring inspiration, a chuckle, and some good cheer:

The Other Letter by IKEA
The Christmas Story
Creative 12 Days of Christmas by a Famly of 12
An Unexpected Christmas

 

Christmas movies worth watching: 

The Toy That Saved Christmas (Veggie Tales Movie) – animation

Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas ( Veggie Tales Movie) – animation

St. Nicholas : A Story of Joyful Giving (Veggie Tales Movie) – animation

The Star of Christmas (Veggie Tales Movie) – animation

It’s a Meaningful Life (Veggie Tales Movie) – animation

The Little Drummer Boy (Veggie Tales Movie) – animation

Annabelle’s Wish (1997) – animation

The Star (2017) – animation

The Little Drummer Boy (1968) – a stop motion animation

Rudolph, The Red Nose Reindeer (1964)  – a stop motion animation

Frosty, the Snow Man (1969)  – animation

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)  – animation

The Grinch That Stole Christmas (1966)  – animation

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)  – animation

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)  – musical/comedy/drama with puppets

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)  – animation

The Nativity (2006) – PG drama

Polar Express (2004) with Tom Hanks – G  animation/adventure

Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) – PG comedy

Home Alone (1990) – PG comedy

Elf (2003) – PG comedy/fantasy

The Nutcracker (1986) – musical/ballet

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971 The Walton Family TV Episode) – drama

Miracle on 34th Street  (1947) – drama

White Christmas (1954) with Bing Crosby – musical/comedy/romance

Bells of St. Mary’s  (1945) with Bing Crosby – drama

Going My Way (1944) with Bing Crosby – drama

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) with Jimmy Stewart – drama

A Christmas Carol (1951) (1984) – drama based on Charles Dickens’ classic story

Hearts of Christmas (2016 Hallmark movie) – romance/drama

A Prince for Christmas (2015 Hallmark movie) – romance/drama

Crown for Christmas (2015 Hallmark movie) – romance/drama

 

There are many great daily messages and videos to help you spiritually prepare for the Christmas. Consider looking into them and signing up.  Here are some suggestions:

Matthew Kelly’s Advent

Advent: More Than A Chocolate Calendar with other videos available

Word On Fire: Season of Advent

 

 

Share your ideas too and add them to the collection!

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