With so much on our plates as moms, sometimes it’s a challenge staying merry all season long. From all the gift preparations the holidays bring to the baking, from housecleaning to traveling and the list goes on and on. Basically, extreme busyness usually accompanies this season and busyness can easily lead to stress. If you are like me, stress often steals my joy. With the busyness, it can also be easy to lose sight of what this season is truly about.
I want my children to remember a joyful mother, merry all season long. I want them to see me striving to live the way Jesus intended me too. I don’t want them to reflect on this season remembering their mother stressed out, scurrying around the house to get things done and always too busy.
So here are some things I’ve put into practice to reduce the stress and stay merry all season long…
Discuss the real Christmas story everyday leading up until Christmas. It’s always been a tradition of ours to read the story of Jesus’ birth before opening up presents on Christmas morning, but this year, we have started reading it every day. We also got a play nativity scene for our kids so that they could have fun with it too. We color pictures of Jesus in the manger, play with the nativity scene and plan a birthday celebration for Jesus on Christmas day. These activities help to stay focused on the true meaning of this season no matter how long my to-do list is or how busy our schedule may be.
Don’t let your busy schedule alter your time with God. This season brings many joyous gatherings and an already packed calendar, fills up even faster. From travel to preparations, it can be easy to give-up your alone time with God in the mornings or whenever it may be, but don’t. This time is so important to continue your spiritual growth. Make a hard stance not to sacrifice this dedicated time with God.
Don’t over commit. Holiday parties, dinners and special get-togethers seem to be occurring every weekend and sometimes even overlap. Know that it’s okay to say no. By saying no, you are saying yes to your family by being a better you. Over committing will leave you tired, stressed and less focused. You will not be missing out if you choose wisely and turn down some engagements, you will be creating a better you.
Know that you don’t have to do everything. You are only one person. Yes, you are one person with a lot of job titles; mom, chef, teacher, maid, etc. But you do not have to do it all. Ask for help. Both in prayer and from others. Don’t feel like you have to be perfect and know that your family loves you for being the one person you are.
Continue giving. Giving is the best way to stay merry through this season and in life. When we give to others, our spirits are lifted, our hearts are full and we are pleasing God. Giving doesn’t have to be in the form of an actual gift. We can give our time by visiting a lonely friend or volunteering at a local organization. We can give something we no longer use. We can give by making something such as a meal or a card for someone.
Staying merry all season long seems like an easy thing to do, but once you’re in the shuffle of the season, it can be easy to get lost. Stay focused on the true meaning of the season and put these tips into practice. God will reward you for staying faithful to Him.