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How to Survive the Holidays

If you are not already feeling it, it’s coming. What am I talking about? The Christmas rush. For this time of year many people’s lives become overly stuffed with parties, presents, schedules, and more. For many, it can become too much even to the point of dreading the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. How do we not get into the holiday blues and just wish it were over? Here are seven ideas to help you cope and overcome the holiday rush:

1. Plan quiet time with God.

Psalm 46:10 “Cease striving and know that I am God…”

My family lives in Alabama. Before we leave we have to make sure the gas tank in our car is full so we do not run out halfway there. Your mind and spirit are no different. The longer and more demanding your day the more you need to practice this one. Spend time with God by reading your daily devotion, prayer, and worshiping to a worship cd. It will fill you up so you do not run out of emotional steam when you are only halfway to the end of the day.

2. Remember, hurting people hurt people.

Matthew 5:7 ESV “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

We’ve all meant “that person” in the shopping line. They are upset and they want you to know it. This person could be the person behind the cash register, the person taking your order, the person driving their car aggressively down the road, etc. Before telling them how rude they are stop and think about this very true fact, “Hurting people hurt people.” Most likely their bad attitude has nothing to do with you. Chances are they are feeling rushed, devalued, aggravated, or hurt themselves and it is manifesting itself as aggressiveness toward you. Make an effort to show them a little extra grace. You probably need it too.

3. Appreciate the little things.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Make a decision every day to find joy in the little things of life instead of feeling rushed by what has not been done yet. Not only is it a better way to live but you will find there is a lot more to be thankful for than you realize.

4. Embrace the moments.

Matthew 6:31-34 ESV “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.

Every moment that passes are moments we will not get back. My family is having our first Christmas this year without a precious loved one. There will be an empty seat at the dinner table, presents will go unopened, and there will be silence in place of their laughter. When I look back at it, our greatest regrets are not what we did not receive last Christmas but the time we did not spend with that loved one. I do not even remember what I received for Christmas but I do remember who will be missing. Take every moment and cherish it. You never get it back.

  • Take your kids to see the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.
  • Walk around the mall and enjoy the buzz of the holiday.
  • Say yes when you are invited to one more game before leaving the party.
  • Ask someone, “How are you today?” instead of “Are you through yet?” Embrace the moments. They never return.

5. Make plans for family and plans for rest.

Proverbs 15:22 ESV Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

We have all done this. We try to put everything into just a day or two and find ourselves rushing from place to another quickly forgetting why we are even there. Make plans as early as possible and, if possible, plan a little rest in between stops. You might be saying, “It doesn’t work like that in my family. We meet at certain times each year and they are back to back to back.” I use to think that too. One year we began asking if we could do it a little differently and everyone was fine with it. Many times the only reason they meet when they do is because there has never been a reason to do otherwise. Give it a try.

6. Try to multi-task less.

Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

We all love to do it. However, multi-tasking is a double edged sword. On one side you get more done but on the other side it creates more stress than we can sometimes handle. In a season already full of enough stress, plan your day in the morning then stick with it. Do not try to pack on as much as possible. I like to front load my week as much as possible so that as the week progresses I have less and less of urgent things to do. As much as possible, give it a try.

7. Less tech, more face to face.

Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

One of the biggest stressors we deal with this time of the year has to do with our technology. Social media is a great addition to our generation but we are getting away from face to face relationships. Here are some ideas to try help you feel more connected during the holidays. If you like to text all the time, try to call people more. If you like to call people, try to meet people more. Just give it a try and see how it works out.

These are some of the ideas I use to make it through this busy time of the year. What do you do?

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