I find Christmas to be a challenging time of year. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE Christmastime, but I also find it a struggle at times. Not because of grief or hard memories, like I’m sure many people would have (and my heart goes out to you), but because emotionally I feel torn in so many directions.
Reason for the Season: As a Christian, I believe Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus – my Saviour and best friend. As a child, I knew Christmas was ‘about Jesus’, but it wasn’t personal. I want my heart to be in the right place and be thankful to Jesus for all He has done for me, and for my children to learn that this is what Christmas is about.
Festive Spirit: However, there is so much commercialism around Christmas that I find I get sucked into that. As I wrote about previously, I have a love for the festive side of Christmas – the decorations, cooking, smells, music, events etc. It’s very easy for this to become the focus for me, and forget the real meaning.
The Perfect Present: I also find the ‘presents thing’ difficult. I’m a left-brained organisation person, so buying presents at Christmas is an item on my to-do list. That sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it? That’s why I find it a struggle. I LOVE buying presents for people, when I see something they’d like/use or something special to make them smile. I find Christmas tough because there’s the social expectation of finding a gift for each and every person in a set amount of time. I often start to look around early in the year, but I still find it difficult. I also am continually battling to de-clutter our house, so the thought of buying other people ‘clutter’ is something that doesn’t sit well with me, so its so consuming to find the ‘perfect’ thoughtful gift for each person that it becomes frustrating and a stress.
As I’ve become more aware of this battle within me, and how negative I can get around Christmas, I’ve tried to put some ‘safeguards’ in place to help me focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to win the battle and just relax and enjoying celebrating Christmas in the future.
- We’re trying to develop some meaningful family traditions around Christmas (a Nativity advent, reading the Biblical Christmas account to the kids, having “Emmanuel” lights up, memory verses etc)
- Spending more time “with God” – reading my Bible and praying
- I’m delegating some of the present-buying to my husband (since he LOVES it anyway)
- Being more ‘self-aware’ of my emotions- saying sorry to God when I’m getting too focused on the festivities or presents and doing it with wrong intentions, asking Him for help to do better
- I’m asking hubby to help keep me accountable
I’d love to hear about how you find Christmastime. Do you have any battles with Christmas?