I looked upon the mountain of dirty dishes that had covered every spot in my kitchen. I had held Thanksgiving dinner for my husband’s family; we had so much food left over that I invited my family the next day. As I was scrubbing dishes that seem to be on an exponential growth curve (joke for all you math nerds), my mind wondered:
It is that time of the year again. I have a Christmas Party or Dinner on almost every weekend. Do we go to my husband’s family Christmas party first? And then my parents? Which church do we go to celebrate Christmas? I have to buy presents (There are people that buy Christmas presents throughout the year and I am not one of them) I have my parents and two siblings; my husband has parents and five siblings, and his siblings are married with kids.
I started to have a mini panic attack; also, this turkey grease was not coming off the pan.
The Holidays can be very stressful. A Consumer Report survey noted that 90% of Americans had at least one thing they stressed about, they listed the top stresses to be:
1. Crowds and long lines: 68 percent (guess I am not the only one that waits last minute)
2. Gaining weight: 37 percent
3. Getting into debt: 37 percent
4. Gift shopping: 28 percent
5. Traveling: 25 percent
6. Seeing certain relatives: 24 percent
7. Seasonal music: 23 percent
8. Disappointing gifts: 19 percent
9. Having to attend holiday parties or events: 16 percent
10. Having to be nice: 15 percent
11. Holiday tipping: 12 percent
It is so easy to get lost with all the noise that it is also easy to forget to enjoy the Holidays. The Holidays is about celebrating Christ (there will be a post about this in the future); they are about being grateful and enjoying them with your family. It will get crazy, but let’s not forget to pause and breathe.
I decided that this year I will do best I can to go against the results of that survey. I am not going to let the crowds, gaining weight, debt, etc., stress me out. I am not sure what that means yet; I might have to cut something out, or say no, or be a stickler with the budget (I am still figuring it out). However, I know that in order for me not to get stressed, I have to be purposeful about it.
I hope that you will also make the same commitment—the commitment of not becoming another stress survey statistic. This December, let’s make sure to pause and breathe, to be purposeful, and to follow what Paul wrote in Romans:
“2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.–Romans 12:2