It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed during the Christmas season. After all, there’s so much going on! Shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, baking, parties, concerts, and more. All these things are fine, and even fun! But if we’re not careful, they can take over and crowd out our comfort and joy. Instead of loving the season, we turn into list-making, control-freaky monsters. We stress about how much there is to do, to make, and to buy. We worry and stress about how to have Christmas on a budget. And let’s be honest––that kind of stress isn’t fun for us or anyone around us.
But there’s good news. It’s possible to loosen your grip and relax. You can experience peace (on earth) and feel goodwill during the holidays. How? By realizing you have limits. You only have so much time, energy, and money. In order to realistically budget all these things and have a richer Christmas, you need a different kind of list. Instead of a to-do list, try creating a holiday “to-don’t” list.
5 things for Your “To-Don’t List” for a Richer Christmas
- Don’t buy it all. If it seems like your shopping list is really just a copy of the Christmas catalog, it’s time to rethink things, because that’s really not good for the budget, right? What can you give that shows more heart than wallet? Maybe your time would mean more to someone than anything.
- Don’t do it all. Let go of the pressure to accept every party or event invitation. You are allowed to have down time! When we talk about doing Christmas on a budget, remember that budgeting your time is just as important as budgeting your money. Look at your calendar and find time to do what fills you up. Running on empty will wear you down.
- Don’t eat it all. This is a tough one around the holidays. There’s a seemingly endless supply of treats everywhere you turn. Here’s an idea to navigate the feast-focused events. Instead of eating one (or six) of everything, look at what’s being offered. Put your favorites on your plate, walk away from the table, and enjoy them. Avoid the temptation to graze your way through the event.
- Don’t plan it all. You may be tempted to have a Pinterest-perfect Christmas, but controlling every aspect of your holiday is more likely to create stress in yourself and in those around you. Be willing to embrace a little mess to make fun memories.
- Don’t forget it all. Remember, there’s a point to all this. It isn’t about the gifts, the cards, the events, the food. This is about celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus. The same Jesus who gently reminded Martha to let go of her busyness and to enjoy His presence, as her sister Mary did.
It’s time, friend. Make your list, let go, and come, let us adore Him.