Most of us start out intending to savor this beautiful season of Jesus and twinkle lights. Then, somewhere between December 1st and 24th our best intentions get hijacked by the pressure to package Christmas perfectly.
Many people, myself included, seem to be stuck in this quandary of how to retain both our joy and our sanity at Christmas time. We will try to do more, be more, and ensure that everyone around us is filled and overflowing with the stuff of Christmas dreams. Then, we’ll collapse, spent, exhausted and empty. Angry, frustrated and bitter even.
Jesus didn’t intend for us to celebrate His birth by killing ourselves.
I’m drawing a line in the sand this Christmas and choosing to focus on what matters most—Jesus, my people, and the things I truly love. I’m sticking to simple.
Over the past year I’ve written about living less distracted, choosing stillness, and finding balance. I hear the Holy Spirit nudging me that now, more than ever, I must practice what I preach and live what I proclaim. If I can’t do it in the season when Jesus is front and center, then friends, I’m in trouble.
I won’t usher in another season of perfectly orchestrated chaos. I simply love Jesus too much to rush passed Him.
For the love of God, I’m simplifying Christmas!
Your “simple” might look entirely different from mine. Perhaps you find immense joy in paper crafting Christmas cards, baking dozens of cookies for your neighbors, and making homemade ornaments. If that’s what you love, go on and do it!
I’m not built that way. Those things trigger every perfectionist tendency streaming through my DNA and inevitably leave me in a puddle of anxiety and stress. If you feel the same way, then maybe it’s time to simplify.
Here are a some ways I’m choosing more simple and less crazy this Christmas:
- No Christmas cards: They just take too much time and money. Instead, I’ll use Red Stamp to create a FREE digital card that I can text, email or even print a few if I need to.
- Subtle decorating: I love a festive home at Christmas, but this year rather than haul out every box of decor, I hand-selected my most special items to display. Not only do I love the understated feel, but come New Years, I won’t be overwhelmed to undo it all.
- Online shopping: Because traffic, long lines, and other crazed Christmas shoppers don’t feel AT ALL simple. But don’t wait til Christmas Eve!
- Time with friends: I’m purposing to schedule visits with the people I truly cherish. Time together is a precious gift—and I’ll suggest it’s the only one we give.
- Giving that gives back: I love the stories behind the artisan crafted jewelry of Noonday Collection and the dignified work it provides. Girl Set Free is another non-profit close to my heart that pairs fashion and freedom in the most beautiful way. If you’re an Amazon fan, use their Amazon Smile website and a proceed of all your purchases goes to your favorite charity. This giving changes lives.
- Family and faith: My family and I will be reading through my dear friend, Lisa Appelo’s, Countdown to Christmas Advent Devotional. It’s 15 days which means if we miss a night or two, I’m not feeling the pressure to catch up or fail.
- Simply saying “no”: I’m saying no in the right places—to choices that rob me of time, to things that aren’t necessary or essential, to distractions that take my focus off of Jesus, my people, and what I truly love—because they matter most.
I want this season to be sweet and meaningful, not crazed and chaotic. There will still be scratch made cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, surprises under a decorated tree, and family gathered together. But this year, they won’t get lost in the hustle, and I’ll truly enjoy them for the simple pleasures they are. ♥
You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots: Purposeful Faith (#RaRaLinkup), Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday).