Behold! I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people! Could have fooled me. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! Unless you are me. Ever had such thoughts? Sometimes we can get a little cynical about Christmas. Our joy can be sapped away by the overwhelming amount of work to do.
On top of the wrapping and baking, you have a solid week with the in-laws to look forward to at the end of it. Sounds like you’ve lost the magic of Christmas. Those exciting mornings as a kid are all but washed away by the overwhelming amount of toil and drama heading your way.
Maybe this is a particularly hard Christmas for you. You’ve lost someone you loved. Your family has chosen to spend Christmas somewhere else. Financially, you can’t afford to celebrate the way that you want. Sounds like you’ve got the Christmas blues.
Have hope! Jesus didn’t come to earth to make your life more difficult. Misery is not the reason for the season. Let’s get a little more pep in your step and reinvigorate that Christmas cheer with these tips to overcome the Christmas blues.
1. Plan ahead
If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you know the importance of planning ahead. Months are spent making sure that every detail is perfectly in place, only for some things to fall apart at the last minute. This is why good planning skills are important. The reality is that no holiday is perfect. There are simply too many things you can’t control. Family, work responsibilities—how dry your turkey is—there are some things in life that we are powerless over. Then what’s the point of planning?
Planning can give us some peace of mind. Where will you be spending Christmas? What do you need to do to prepare? Who do you need to get gifts for? These are all questions that can be answered in advance and can make Christmas day that much easier.
Sometimes it is overwhelming to look at all the things that need to get done, and we’d rather just avoid it. That is setting yourself up for failure. Make a list and check it twice. Get everything you need to do down on paper in the smallest steps possible. This can help things feel more manageable. If it works for Santa, it will probably work for you.
This might come as a shock, but nothing is ever perfect. Even you! This means that sometimes we need to ask for help. That’s easy to say, but much harder to do. Why don’t we delegate? For most of us, it’s because we think that we can do it better. There are thousands of things we could let other people do for us, but we don’t let them because it’s easier to do it ourselves.
Maybe you need help preparing the Christmas meal. Maybe you are overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do before Christmas. Delegate. It’s a complete sentence. Give up control, and when you do, accept that it won’t be perfect. You could probably do it better, but doing it yourself is the path to burnout. Most importantly, be thankful for the help you receive—thankfulness is the path to positivity.
3. Take time for you
After He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by himself to pray (Matt. 14:23, ESV).
Even Jesus needed breaks. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the masses, people constantly demanding things from us, everyone pulling us in opposite directions. Sometimes it is best to get away and take time for you. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, that means that we take time sitting down and stressing about the demands of life.
Jesus gives us a good example here. We need to get away and focus on what really matters. Maybe you have forgotten the reason for the season. Maybe you are alone this Christmas, or you’ve lost a family member this year. Take time to reflect and reorient yourself. Dwell on all the things that you are thankful for. Make a journal chronicling the thoughts that give you joy and hope. Remember that Jesus didn’t come to make you suffer. He came to give us hope. Focus on that this Christmas, and the Christmas blues don’t stand a chance!