Dump the Holiday Stress (and Get Something More)

Thanksgiving and Christmas bring out the best and worst in people.

They remind us of the gifts in our lives and inject a renewed sense of appreciation.

They help center us on the Giver of those gifts and increase our attention on the Savior.

They encourage generosity in our hearts and in our pocketbooks.  


However, the holidays also expose attributes in many of us that remain dormant (or at least quieter) for most of the year. Perfectionism, materialism, competition, all rear their ugly heads during the waning months of the year. 

The holidays also increase the depth of loneliness, hurt, and isolation.


Addressing Holiday Stress

But when we focus on the reason we have anything to be thankful for, when we remind ourselves why Christmas exists at all, this time of year takes on new meaning. 

When Jesus comes to the forefront of our days, pretense and despair fade into the background. Striving for perfection loses its importance. Joy and peace and love and giving replace hopelessness and chaos and bitterness and greed.

When Jesus comes to the forefront of our days, pretense and despair fade into the background. Click To Tweet

Advent is a wonderful time to renew our sense of awe. To regain our wonderment of God’s gifts and His most precious Gift. To marvel at the miracle anew. 

Advent, a time of preparation for the Lord’s coming, serves as a period of refocus and rededication. A time to renew our hope. To again see the glory that is the Lord’s. 

He is coming, my friends! In fact, He already came, just as promised. The Holy Spirit abides in each believer. Guiding. Convicting. Inspiring. Empowering. And Jesus, He will come again. To whisk away any vestige of evil and pain in this world. To wipe away every tear. 

The promised miracle, beginning in the beginning, when the universe and everything in it was being spoken into existence. Including us—made in the image of our Maker. Creations of Love.

Continuing through the Promise of God incarnate, the marvelous wonder of the God-child, fully God, fully man. An innocent Babe in a lowly manger. The least being really the Greatest: God’s miraculous economy. Making no sense to us but yet making perfect sense to a God who knows our selfish hearts yet loves us anyway. And best of all, this Christ-child provides a Way for redemption, a Way to salvation. 

Ending when the miracle is complete in the Promised One’s return once and for all to reign forever.

He is coming and I want to be ready.

I want something more this Christmas, and I’m going to get it by doing less. Less striving, less worrying, less comparing.

This Christmas I want more of Jesus, so I need to embrace less of the world’s offerings. I need to clear my mind and heart of the trappings of consumerism and materialism.

Less doing and more heeding. Heeding Him, the One we celebrate, the One we wait for with breathless anticipation. 

Advent: it’s a season to prepare more by striving less. It’s time to dump the holiday stress. 

Advent: it's a season to prepare more by striving less. Click To Tweet

This year, let’s together experience the simplicity and wonder of the miraculous Gift of Jesus Christ.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (John 14: 2-3)

Reflection: Do you struggle with one of the ailments of the holidays—perfectionism, comparison, loneliness? How are you addressing that and preparing your heart for the coming of the Lord this Advent season? 

Linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience in 2013 with my Joy Dare list for Multitude Mondays (#2313–2333, read the entire list by clicking here):

  • Sweet day spent w/ Mom; Warm boots; Waking up to this lovely blanket of snow & this lovely girlEmbedded image permalink
  • Daniel made it home safely despite a small detour; Family all together again; Finished molding & dipping chocolates
  • Bros throwing Joey out into a snowdrift-brotherly love!: Cooking for my family; Each sharing 5 gratitude items at supper
  • Precious new bundle of sweetness–& I got to hold him!; Card playing among hubby and sons; Sharing family stories
  • Making a son’s meal request = #privilege; Rach excitedly noticing our Thanksgiving tree; Possum frequenting our deck
  • Celebrating Christmas w/ Mom&Dad, siblings, nephews & nieces; Smorgasbord of food; Games, crafts, presents & family fun
  • Generosity & love of my parents; Fun ribbing “give-n-take” during family games; Beginning of Advent=open #thegreatestgift

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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