One of the primary purposes of The Peaceful Mom is to help women find ways to de-stress life, so I was excited to find a great article from Bob and Yvonne Turnbull (check out their website here) about How To Have A Stress Free Christmas.
Here are a few excerpts:
When expectations go unspoken, conflict can occur. To overcome this, have a family meeting as soon as possible and develop a plan. Discuss, pray and be in agreement as to where and with whom you are spending Christmas and how many activities you as a family will be involved in.
Use a family calendar to organize activities and stay on track. Keep in mind on certain days not to schedule anything. Leave it open for spontaneity or chill time. (Print The Peaceful Mom Christmas Snapshot or Christmas Activity Planner.)
Don’t Go Into Debt For Christmas Gifts
Set a budget and stick to it. Nothing is more stressful then when the bills start arriving in January and you are struggling to make the payments for stuff that has already been laid aside or forgotten.
In our family we agree upon an amount of money for gifts and then we cut that dollar amount in half. Half goes towards buying each family member a gift and the other half is used for buying gifts for less privileged children in our own community. It helps us keep in mind that Christmas is about giving not just receiving.
Extend Grace To Difficult Family Members
When we come together as family we often idealize family relationships and think they will be “different” this year.” If we are realistic about them we will be more relaxed and can have a better reaction to possible negative situations. Learn to practice what is taught in Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
When your sister criticizes your cooking, simply smile and extend grace and forgiveness. When your uncle goes off about your Christian beliefs, don’t argue. Diffuse him with a smile and say, “Well I can see you feel very strongly about your views” and then change the subject.
Recharge Your Batteries
Make getting enough sleep a priority, or you will not have the energy or mood to enjoy the holidays. Do not overindulge in foods high in sugar and fat. One small bit can satisfy your sweet tooth. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits as they contain the vitamins and minerals that helps reduce stress.
If you want to increase your energy, get up off the couch and get moving. Go for a walk, the gym, park the car a distance from the store entrance, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pick what you like, but get moving.
How do you keep the holidays stress free?
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