Before you get your Santa suit all in a tizzy I want you to know that – I love Christmas. As a matter of fact it is my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of Christmas trees, baked goodies and warm apple cider. I love snuggling with my wife by a cozy fire and binge watching Christmas movies. I love Christmas!
However, sometimes I don’t feel so jolly. Sometimes the holiday season can leave me feeling a little…blah. And I bet – if you were really honest – you have felt the same way, too. Why is that? Why does this season – that is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year – so often leave many of us feeling so ho hum?
After taking a little time to think about it, here are a few possible reason that I would like to offer.
- We put too much pressure on ourselves at Christmas. We feel like we have to get everyone the absolute perfect present. We feel like we’ve got to be at every single Christmas party, that we received an invite to. We feel like we have to have a more perfect Christmas card picture than last year.
- We put too much pressure on others at Christmas. We get disappointed if we ask for something for Christmas and we don’t get it. We get upset if certain folks can’t make it to our Christmas party. We put pressure on our family to meet certain expectations at Christmas. Does any of that really matter?
- We don’t focus enough on the peace that Christmas brings. Christmas is all about the fact that God’s son – Jesus – came down from heaven to rescue us from our sin. He came in the form of human flesh so we would know that God is ‘with us.’ Yet, for many of us this season is all about going, doing, buying, eating and running ourselves ragged.
Therefore, I would like to suggest a couple of things to help deal with the holiday blues.
- Turn down the pressure. Simplify the expectations you place on yourself and others this holiday season. Be glad when someone can make it and pray for them when they can’t. Find simple ways to celebrate the holiday season that allow you to rest and experience the joy of the season. This may mean that you have to say ‘No’ to somethings, and it’s okay to do so.
- Focus more on Jesus this Christmas. There are many ways you can do this, but probably the easiest way I know is to go to www.youversion.com and sign up for an Advent or Christmas reading plan. You will never regret reading God’s Word. Also, make plans to attend worship throughout the holiday season. You will be amazed at what a source of encouragement a church family can be when you sing and worship Jesus with them.
I hope you have a great holiday season that is low on pressure and high on Jesus. I probably shouldn’t have typed that last line, but it is funny so I’ll leave it.