I love this time of year. The lights, the Christmas carols, the shopping, the gift-giving… So much joy, cheer, laughter and….. stress. Yikes. It’s supposed to be one of the most joyful times of the year yet for so many people (myself included) the joy of Christmas can be covered in a blanket of busyness and stress. Lately, in my dash to get things done and tie up all the loose ends before Christmas and the New Year (and prepare for a job/schedule change) I lost my joy. I hate when that happens. Not only do I suffer from it, but the people around me always have to help me pick up all the pieces when I get stressed out and fall apart. So, I resolved to make some changes.
My bestie is always telling me, “Slow down! You need to stop and smell the roses.” To which I usually respond with something like this: “I can still smell the roses while I’m walking fast.”
Well, there aren’t any fresh roses around to be smelling, but I can stop and enjoy the Christmas lights. 🙂
What about you? Do you allow busyness or stress to get in the way of enjoying the simple things? Do you let the flurry of Christmas wipe out the joy of the season?
Whether it’s life that is stressing you out or whether it’s Christmas… here are some things we all can all do (and remember) to have a joyful Christmas season.
How to Have a Joyful Christmas Season
1. Don’t Neglect Your Time with the Lord
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” Matthew 6:33
Jesus is the reason for the season. Instead of shortening our time with Him during the holidays, we ought to spend more time worshiping, praying, and giving thanks. Our time with the Lord will keep our hearts peaceful and joyful during the busyness. No matter what time of year, our walk with God ought to be the highest priority in our life.
2. Spend Meaningful Time with Family and Friends
With Family -Make sure the time you spend with family is peaceful and sweet. Don’t let arguments or petty disagreements steal the joy away from your time together. Learn to let little things go. “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peacably with all men.” Romans 12:8
With Friends -Make time for the friends in your life. Spend time encouraging them and enjoy being encouraged yourself. This past weekend I got to spend some much needed time catching up with one of my friends. We stayed up way too late but the time we spent together laughing, talking, and sharing encouraged my heart – I hope and pray it did the same for her! “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” Proverbs 27:9
3. Remember the Purpose of Gift-Giving
Giving gifts is a way for us to celebrate the greatest gift that God gave to us – His Son. “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:1
Your gifts to others don’t need to be expensive, excessive, or perfect. The love in your heart when you give a gift is what matters the most.
4. Make Memories
This Christmas season, make some memories. Enjoy the Christmas lights – take a walk or go for a drive. Make Christmas cookies, visit an elderly family member or neighbor. Add joy to the Christmas season by creating some joy of your own and spreading it around. However, if it causes you more stress, don’t do it. Create memories by doing things that you and others can enjoy but don’t go so far overboard that no one has fun – keep it simple. Some of my favorite Christmas memories revolve around simple things – walks around town with my family, cookie baking with mom, and watching movies with friends and family.
5. Take Your Cares to the Right Place
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 2 Peter 5:7
Life goes on whether it’s Christmas or not. I’m not an excessive worrier (I don’t think) but I can let things bother me more than necessary. Sometimes I forget to cast my care on the Lord and pour out my heart to Him – instead I let my cares build up until there is no joy left. It doesn’t need to be that way – for me or for you. If you have things weighing on your heart this Christmas season, choose to pour out your heart to the Lord and cast your care on Him. Depending on the situation, it may take repeated surrendering of your cares to Him – but continue to do so and He will gladly carry the load and restore your joy!
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord and he shall sustain thee…” Psalm 55:22
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8
6. Take Time for Rest
If being busy causes you to lose some sleep, make extra time to catch up. I always “learn” this the hard way! I can get behind in my sleep for a little while, but it eventually catches up with me. During this Christmas season, you and I can cut down on stress and enjoy the holidays more simply taking some time to just rest.
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2
Take time to thank God for His unspeakable gift. Celebrate Christmas for the right reason, the gift of Jesus Christ. Savor the time with family and celebrate the Christmas season with a joyful and thankful heart!
Leave a Comment
- Do you ever feel stressed out during the holidays?
- What are your plans for Christmas this year?
- How will you make sure you celebrate Christmas with a joyful heart?
Feel free to share your thoughts and answers in the comment section. I love hearing from my readers! ♥