10 Simple Ways to Keep the Busyness of the Season from Getting the Best of You

How to prioritize your holidays and minimize your stress

Have you ever found yourself stressed out or stretched too thin during the month of December?  Me neither. 🙂

With the Christmas season heavy upon us, here are some helpful reminders for how to keep your sanity and make sure that you are in control of the craziness, and not the other way around.

1. Keep your priority on things to a minimum.  The last thing any of us need is more things, yet if we’re not careful and fail to be intentional, that’s exactly what the focus of the season will become all about.

2. Make family time a priority.  This time of year is the one time we are supposed to spend more family time, yet sometimes our schedules become so chocked full that the last thing our family ends up getting from us is our best.

“Some of us have made an idol of exhaustion. The only time we know we have done enough is when we’re running on empty and when the ones we love the most are the ones we see the least.”  – Barbara Brown Taylor

3. Remember that you are in control of your schedule.  You don’t have to attend every party, every Christmas program, or every community event that is happening. In fact, I’d strongly encourage you not to.

4. Choose to say ‘No’ to some things.  Decide in advance how much you are going to allow into your schedule during the holiday season and then stick to your guns and learn to say no to whatever threatens it.

5. Don’t overdo yourself in gift giving. One gift per person is really okay, no matter what your family’s income or your family culture. Even if you do more that one gift per person, don’t let materialism take over your family.

6. Don’t go into debt for any reason. Our desire to look good or be the better aunt, uncle, or grandparent often drives us to try and give bigger and better. Refuse to play that game.

7. Do something for someone else outside of the family. Make homemade goodies for the neighbors, visit a shut-in as a family, go Christmas caroling. Whatever you do, make sure to help your kids learn that the true spirit of Christmas is a spirit of generosity. (Of our time, our resources, and ourselves)

8. Take your scheduled time off. Whatever time you get off, take it, and maximize upon it. Don’t bring work home with you. Be fully present in those moments.

9. Decide as far in advance as possible how you will spend your time with the in-laws.  Organize with both sides of the family, and make your plans known in advance. This can save tons of stress in any family.

10. Remember why we celebrate in the first place. Keep Christ at the heart of Christmas.

The holidays can be the most peaceful or the most stressful time of the year, but it’s really up to us and what we make of it. This holiday season, choose to be proactive rather than reactive by doing these 10 things to keep the busyness of the season from getting the best of you.

If you agree, please share these 10 things with others!  Merry Christmas!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Benjamin Watt

    One of your best! Great practical advice.

    Thanks for giving us permission to only gift what we can afford, not what we can borrow.