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Christmas time, one of the most joyous times of year, can quickly turn into a pull-out-my-hair, if- someone-gives-me-one-more-fruitcake-I’m-going-to-throw-it, when-will-this-holiday-finally-be-over season.   When we should be celebrating the birth of the One who came to save us, we are stressing over piles of wrapping paper, baked goods and party invitations.  The busyness steals our peace and robs us of joy. 

So how can this holiday season be peaceful? 

How can we remain joyful?

Have a Less Stress-Filled Christmas

Tips for Having a Less Stress-Filled Christmas: 

What a busy time of year!! And how did it get here so fast?? We are here and the countdown to Christmas is on. With it, our stress is rising and pressure is mounting.

How can we enjoy the season with our family and not be so stressed?

Say No.

That’s right. Be okay with saying NO. This is something that has taken me awhile to learn, especially when it comes to Christmas. I want to do it all, be all, have all the fun and make all the memories with my kids. In the end, I am exhausted, do nothing well and am a grouch. How fun is that? Um, none.

So I am saying no this year.

No to the stress~ as much as I can and YES to memories with my family.

Christmas Cards

I am allowing myself not to send Christmas cards this year. I love sending out Christmas cards. I love getting beautiful cards and putting them in a basket as a reminder to pray for people. But it isn’t happening this year.  I am taking the pressure of the perfect card and the perfect picture. The first year I said no it really bothered me, because who doesn’t send out Christmas cards? 

BUT, I don’t mind emailing a picture/message to friends or doing an electronic card. I absolutely love the hand written cards and miss doing the personal touch. But this year, I’m okay with skipping.

Holiday Parties

I am not having many people to my house this year. Not that I don’t enjoy hosting and having people over. I am just not doing a big party/parties this year. I have done that in the past~ when it was even harder with the littles running around.  I love the decorating, having great food and fellowship, but it is just too much this year. Our lives have been super stressful, so we are not adding to the stress that way.  We are enjoying the decorations and having lots of special memories within our own little family this year.

Decorating

I LOVE this time of year and the way the house glows with Christmas.  We decorate everywhere. Trees of different sizes in almost every room.  There have been a few stressful years that we just BARELY put one tree up. The boys have always loved to decorate with me and I have always let them help me.  This year, I am letting them take charge. My oldest especially loves it. So, my house is mostly decorated by my two sweet boys. 

Things may not be where I “normally” put them or how I would have arranged them, but each thing is placed with love and great thought by my sons. We have lots of “snow” this year…fluffy and messy snow around. I am not normally into the snow, but I am loving it because I love their hearts and excitement.

Loving watching the glow and gleam in my boys eyes as they put things in the “perfect” spot. Loving the stable my boys built outside for the nativity scene. Loving the lights…everywhere. Loving the candy canes and balls hanging from the trees outside and the lights that they set to dance to the music.

So, I let it go this year. Let go of having the “perfectly” decorated house. Let go of being in control. Let go of turning into a grouch because I didn’t feel like decorating but knew the boys loved it. Let go and let them have some fun…making sweet memories all the way. Letting them know that I value them and they they are more important than where a decoration goes in the house.

BUT Keep the traditions

I am saying no to more this year so I can say yes to my family. Enjoying the traditions with them. We may not do as much as we normally do, but keep the main things. I will be writing about ways we celebrate so stay tuned. They boys were talking the other day about the things we do each year.

“Mommy…you are going to wrap up a Christmas book for everyday aren’t you?”

“Are you going to do the Hershey Kiss Countdown for us?”

“Let’s ride around and see the Christmas lights.”

They love the little things that make them feel loved. So I am not saying no to those. I am taking advantage of every moment I am blessed with my family. We never know when it will be over and before we know it, our little ones will be grown.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas that is filled with peace.

How are you having a peaceful Christmas this year?

Check out more of our Christmas posts here.

 

 

 

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Mary Clendenin

About Mary Clendenin

Mary Clendenin lives on the family farm with her husband and 2 sons, whom she home schools. She enjoys farm life with her guys, gardening and making memories with her family. She loves to help others learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, learn about natural remedies and how to do business at home. Mary believes that home and family is your first ministry and a legacy that will live on long after you are gone.

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