Originally posted Nov. 15, 2102. Good reminders for the upcoming holiday season.
The holiday season is upon us. With it comes parties and gatherings along with travel and gift giving. Wow! So much to think about and so much to do. How do we handle the stress of the holidays? How do we manage to juggle the different needs and desires that come along with what is supposed to be The Most Wonderful Time of The Year?
Many people do not look forward to the holidays because of the painful memories that are associated with this time of year: divorces, deaths of loved ones, past hurts, etc. Many people have fears of what the holidays might bring. Because of the seasonal times, many people are depressed during the holidays. All of these issues can bring added stress to the holidays. So again, let me ask, “How do we handle the stress of the holidays?”
I have a few suggestions that might help you as you think about the upcoming events that can crowd our calendars.
1. Make a plan. Sit down with your family with a calendar and talk about the upcoming events. Prioritize the events as:
- Best if attend
- Good if attend
- Want to attend but not important
- Don’t need to attend
Now you might think that everything is mandatory for you to attend. I admit that family events are very important, but sometimes hard decisions need to be made for what is the most important concerning your needs for the time. If your calendar is too crowded with events over the holidays, you can feel overwhelmed and stressed which will cause a great deal of problems for you and you will not enjoy the season at all.
2. Make a budget. Again, sit down with you family and talk about what you can afford. Many people spend more money during this time of the year then they do any other time. Many people go into debt over Christmas, which creates many more problems in the future. Some questions that need to be answered:
- Can we afford to travel?
- What can we afford to purchase for each person that we buy for?
- Can we afford to bring gifts to every party?
- How can we do what we want to do without borrowing money?
I know that I am asking difficult questions. I know that I ask hard questions. Some of you might think that they are unrealistic and that is fine. Everyone chooses to celebrate the holidays in a way that they want, many times without consideration of how it is affecting their family and their relationships with others much less how it will affect their finances.
3. Communicate your plan. Tell your extended family and your friends what you will be doing during the holidays. Tell them the truth about the decisions you have made. Most of the time, family and friends will understand your decisions when they are communicated properly.
I know that so much is expected during the holidays. There are family parties, work parties, school events, along with church gatherings. I know that everyone wants to do everything, go everywhere, and give as much as possible. I am giving you some suggestions to help you eliminate as much stress as possible during them. When the stress levels are down, the enjoyment levels are much higher.
Bradley D. Watson, BCBT Directed Path Ministries
After spending more than 25 years on church staffs, God has allowed me to take the experiences and knowledge that I gained to develop a Biblical Counseling ministry. The basis of this ministry is to allow God’s Word to shine on the main issues in peoples’ lives in order to bring His resolutions to problems.