The Christmas season—which ought to be one of peace and good cheer—is often everything other than tranquility and happiness. For many people (women especially), family events, shopping, and fractured relationships bring stress and steal the joy of Christmas.
For a Christian, this really doesn’t have to be the case. It really shouldn’t be the case—and a few tips to take into the Christmas season will help replace angst and strain with harmony and pleasure.
1. Remember that Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Christ; see others through His eyes. If you are in the process of forgiving someone, don’t feel you’ve failed if this Christmas you aren’t jumping up and down with joy to see that person. Forgiveness is a process. Take it one step at a time—and be okay with that.
2. The physiological aspect of stress can be countered by breathing. That’s right—breathe this Christmas season! Breathe deep. Studies show that when we are stressed we don’t breathe deeply and thus only increase the way our bodies are succumbing to stress. Become conscious of your breathing during the Christmas season and make sure to take time to breathe deep and relax.
3. Drink plenty of water. Water is a great part of staying physically healthy—which is a great way to combat stress. Water washes your body of toxins and keeps your “parts” in good order. Green tea is also a good choice. The point is: make sure that you are staying hydrated as this will help keep you feeling physically well.
4. Invite the Holy Spirit into your life. Don’t pick up the phone or get in the car without asking the Holy Spirit to be part of whatever it is you are doing. Heading over to your in-law’s or company party? Breathe deep and ask the Holy Spirit to be part of the experience with you. This will allow you to rest in the spirit and see everyone through Christ’s eyes and speak words of love. Inviting the Holy Spirit into whatever you happen to be doing will also help you hear the words of others with kindness and charity. That friend who always seems to throw verbal zingers your way will be heard differently when you listen with the Holy Spirit in you.
5. Finally, keep Christmas simple. The biggest gift has already been purchased: Your Salvation through Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. Use this Christmas season as a time for personal relationships—more reflective of the one you have with Christ or are developing with Christ. The Christmas presents you give shouldn’t be bought in a frenzy or in haste. Let them become more special, more fun this year. Consider making the perfect Christmas basket for your friends and family.
Christmas is about the birth of Christ.
It is a time of peace and goodwill. It is a time of simplicity.
All the Black Friday deals in the world cannot beat the deal of a Savior being born. So as the stores ramp up their promotions and the hype increases everywhere that you are connected, take a step back, breathe deep, and rejoice in the birth of Christ in a purposeful, peaceful way.