I haul around with my checklist as if it were something sacred. I can be guilty of putting my work (and maybe even my rest ) before my relationships. I may say a quick no to my loved ones, only because I don’t want to toss another idea into the pot of possibilities. I try to do my errands alone so I can finish more quickly. There is a lot of  “I” in my decision making.

I need to manage my Christmas TIME and alleviate holiday stress.

I believe the gift of presence in relationships is way more important than chasing after the perfect present. I believe it but do I live it? I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not sitting a Jesus’ feet.  I’m not loving Him or loving others the way I want to be loved.

So…how can I value my relationships and have a sense of  family fun, holiday cheer, and some Christmas peace?

My goal is to show my love with time rather than streamlining my checklist to save time. This is going to be a challenge for me. I know I’ll need to pray to refocus each morning, each afternoon, and each evening.

Here are my 6  ways to manage my Christmas TIME and alleviate Holiday Stress. 

I’m putting C.H.R.I.S.T. back into Christmas. This is how I’m going to love God and love others this Christmas:

C Cleaning is not THAT important. If I want to avoid hosting something because my house isn’t white glove clean, it is time to prioritize. If my family  dreads company coming over because I turn into the white tornado something is wrong. My new goal is neat plus one clean bathroom.

H  Hang out, chill, enjoy time with people. Carve out time just to talk. Ignore the clock (to the best of my ability).

R Reflect on the meaning of the birth of our Savior and worship BIG. Take time to listen to and sing Christmas songs, read the accounts of Jesus’s birth in Matthew and Luke. Read the prophecies in Isaiah.

I  Institute a not-critical list. I may not do a Christmas card this year. Instead I might send a New Year’s one or even a Valentine’s card. Hey, I may go crazy and give myself permission to skip it this year!

S  Spend time doing something someone else would enjoy. Because the relationship is more important than the activity. Sacrifice some peace or convenience for another.

T  Take a moment to express affection and appreciation to family members by writing a card or sending an e-mail.

My priority this Christmas is going to be the Baby in cradle, the Savior on the cross, the King on the throne and people He has placed in my life! (I’m already feeling a little free!)

What have you found effective in reducing holiday stress so you can be more present?

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash


© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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