I wish this weren't the case, but often the holidays are a stressful time of year. For many of us, this is because of multiple family get-togethers scheduled on the same day. So Thanksgiving could look like 3 to 4 Thanksgiving dinners all in one day... or Christmas could look like 3 Christmases on Christmas Day. But it is important to try to stay positive in the midst of chaos and stress induced situations.
So here are my tips to try to get your heart and mind where it needs to be for the upcoming holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas specifically):
- Get your head and heart where they need to be. Focus on the reason for celebrating these holidays. Thanksgiving is meant to be thankful. It is a holiday where we are supposed to be thankful for what we have, not what we don't have. Christmas is meant to celebrate our salvation. Celebrating the birth of a savior who came and was sinless, yet took on the burden and weight of our sins. Celebrating that God sent His one and only son to eventually die for us on a cross so that we could be with the Lord in Heaven one day.
- Be Flexible. With scheduling multiple dinners or even with shopping for Christmas, it is easy to get overwhelmed and cranky. You can see it on other people's faces as you go shopping the week of Thanksgiving, or when you're Christmas shopping and you see all of the scowls and rude gestures from others at the store. Just take a deep breath, pray for peace, and think flexible thoughts. It is important to be flexible all of the time, but especially during the holidays. Things don't go the way we think they should, they never will and we need to just accept that. We need to just accept that we should turn things over to the Lord, and know that He has a bigger plan in all of this.
- Pray. I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer. Psalm 55:22 says "Cast your burden on the Lord, releasing the weight of it and He will sustain you. He will never allow the consistently righteous to be moved made to slip, fall or fail." This is how I make it through, I pray! While trying to schedule 3 Thanksgivings and 3 Christmases, praying and turning it over to the Lord is how everything always seems to work out. Somehow at the end of the day after a holiday, sure we might be exhausted, but everything went smoothly and we had fun.
What have you found helpful to stay positive during the holidays?