Do you have mixed feelings about the holidays? Do you love them yet dread them at the same time? For years, I made myself crazy picking out the perfect gifts for my family and friends, working myself into a frenzy as I planned parties, wrote personal messages in each Christmas card, and allowed more clients into my work schedule than I should have.
I tried to remind it wasn't necessary, and I was celebrating Jesus birth, but, I still couldn't get past the, "I must make everything perfect" syndrome. Life has a way of changing this kind of thinking with circumstances you can't "Plan."
For me, it was divorce. It certainly changed the way the holidays looked. No longer were we all together, one big happy (or so I told myself) family. Now my daughters had to divide their time between Mom and Dad.
Divorce changed the holidays for the better for me in many ways, though. I began to simplify the holidays. I stopped sending out Christmas Cards. I limited how many gifts I purchased. I even bought a smaller Christmas tree. Yes, some of this was out of necessity, but most was out of wanting a different kind of experience. I let go of the things that caused me stress. I began to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas much, much more.
When I remarried, the tree got bigger (again), but the holiday remained more poignant, focused on the meaning. While my new husband and I enjoy entertaining, we keep it more focused on warmth and making our guests feel special. Yes, I still love making things "Pretty" around me, but I pace myself with the preparations. This has given me peace. This year, for the first time, I can honestly say, I have no holiday stress.
This is my wish for you. A stress-free, blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas!
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.