I’m just a wee bit preoccupied this Christmas season. I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy, and though I feel pretty good, there are limitations on my energy and patience right now. Add to that a couple of emotionally-draining situations, I find I’m running on empty way too often. Going all-out and celebrating the holidays is too overwhelming for me at the moment. So in order to still enjoy this special season and feel like I am helping my family enjoy the holidays, I am focusing on the following 5 strategies to celebrate Christmas when I just don’t feel up to it:
1. Focus on Jesus.
I want my kids to be aware that this is a special season to reflect on the wonderful gift God gave us — his son Jesus. I too need to remember the real meaning of Christmas- it was the beginning of God’s redemption plan– God became flesh! Emmanuel– God with us! Not only do I need to remember this, I need to experience it– God is with me even in this season! I need to be like the wisemen who came to worship Jesus. They didn’t come to receive anything, but to give and praise God.
2. Stay away from Pinterest.
Right now there are so many creative, inspiring, and cute Christmas crafts, food, and activities being posted on Pinterest. Seeing what so many other people are doing or have done can lead to guilt. Don’t set yourself up for feeling that way. Don’t compare yourself to what others are doing. I know, easier said than done.
This generation has the instant ability to compare themselves with what others are doing via Facebook, Pinterest, blogs and more. 10 years ago I had to actually get out and see people in order to compare myself to them (not that I was suppose to be comparing myself.) Now it’s just a swipe of a finger on a smart phone or iPad and I can access images in a second. Things aren’t always as they seem though. On Pinterest (and blogs) we show what we want you to see. We don’t show you the kids going bonkers in the background, the pile of dirty dishes on the counter, the laundry not finished etc. It can appear that we have it all together, when we don’t. I enjoy Pinterest but I try to make sure that it does not make me discontent or feel guilty.
3. Brighten someone else’s day.
My children and I spent a lot of time shopping and packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child this year. It was such a big highlight, that we will be doing it again next year. In fact, they have decided to keep a box labeled “Operation Christmas Child Gifts” in order to add things throughout the year. That way when it comes time to pack boxes for next year, we will have a huge start on filling our boxes. We’ll be looking for deals and discounts when shopping during the holidays so we can start filling our box for next year.
4. Keep things simple.
Forget the fancy decorations, the big baking sessions, the Christmas festivals and fields trips, and the elaborate crafty projects. This year I need to keep it simple. One of our Christmas traditions has been to read various holiday books through the month of December. We will be continuing that tradition. This year we’ll also be reading either Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage, or Tabitha’s Travels. I picked up all three books but am not sure which one we will start. We read Amon’s Adventures during Easter and loved it. The kids are excited about starting this series in December. For my little ones, we will be doing Truth in the Tinsel along with the Printable Ornaments.
Since my kids do love doing crafts, I picked up some of those wood ornaments from Hobby Lobby. They love to color and paint them and it is minimal set-up and clean-up for me. I also have colorful scrapbook paper for them to make their own cards and ornaments on their own. This way my kids can still do crafts but it is manageable for me.
5. Play Christmas Music
So many memories of Christmas can be brought to mind just by hearing certain Christmas songs. I plan on pulling out some of my favorite Christmas carols and dvd’s and having them playing during the month of December. Just hearing certain songs encourage me and help me focus on Jesus rather than my feelings.
What tips do you have for celebrating Christmas when you don’t feel like it?