Two Ways to Trade Your Stress for Peace This Christmas

 In Articles, Happy Life, Holiday Help

They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for many people, the holidays can be busy, stressful, and can result in feelings of anxiety, worry, and despair.

I just want to encourage you to take a deep breath and reset as you pull out your decorations from storage, make holiday plans with friends and relatives, and create what can seem like a never-ending to-do list.

Let me just set you free right now: You don’t have to create the “perfect” Christmas.

Let go of that idea, and instead choose to be at peace for the next several weeks, so you can have a truly joyful Christmas season.


  • Let go of the idea of a “perfect” holiday.

A great way to manage holiday stress is to resist the urge to try to create the “perfect” holiday. Perfection is something that God doesn’t expect from you, so why should you expect it from yourself?

There will always be things that go “right” and things that go “wrong.”

Good holiday experiences depend on realistic expectations. You have to be willing to react to any situation with a peaceful heart.

Will your coworkers really care whether you had the perfect combo of photos on your family Christmas card or just that they got a card from you?

Will your children really care if you made homemade dough for cutout cookies, or would making cookies from refrigerated dough be just as fun?

Will your family and friends really remember the place settings you made for your dining room table? 

Do I really need to answer those questions?

Your friends and family, and especially your children, will remember YOU. They will remember spending time with YOU and feeling the warmth of your love and the peace in your spirit.

Loving others is all that is really required of you this holiday season.

When you set a standard of perfection, your kids feel the pressure too. Letting go and accepting whatever comes your way with a peaceful spirit will teach your children to do the same. Some of my best memories with my kids are of when we laughed our way through the messy times.  

Don’t let the desire to control every outcome steal your joy or your peace this holiday season.

Rejoice in life’s imperfect moments! They remind us how much we need God’s perfect grace. In fact, Christmas is an annual reminder of the fact that we needed a perfect Savior to be the sacrifice for our imperfect sin.

  • Trade perfection for reflection.

Don’t just think about getting through the holidays—think about how you are going to savor them. Instead of worrying about getting everything done, reflect on what God has already done. 

For example, if you feel buried by holiday tasks or family drama, stop, breathe, and fix your thoughts on something for which you are grateful.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) tells us:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

The enemy loves to drown you in circumstances and watch as seeds of doubt and despair turn into a negative attitude.

Don’t let your circumstances steal your peace! Our God is not the God of circumstances; He is the God of miracles! When you choose not to dwell on circumstances and instead rely on God’s promises, a positive attitude comes naturally.

Remember, circumstances don’t dictate your happiness; you do.

One of the best ways to overcome holiday stress is by changing what you are thinking about. This holiday season, you can overcome worry by reflecting on God’s faithfulness over the past 12 months and reflecting on your dreams for the new year.

Remember, Christmas isn’t about decorations, or parties, or holiday comfort food. It’s about offering up our gratitude for the greatest gift the world has and could ever receive—salvation through Jesus.

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