It's Christmastime and it's time to celebrate! But, for many parents, just the thought of the season makes them want to scream "Bah hum-bug!" Why? It's because the holidays can be hectic and just plain hard to deal with. Christmas shopping, school and church pageants, and the various Christmas festivities can cause us a lot of stress! But here's the good news -- there is a remedy for getting beyond the "Bah hum-bug!" By reducing your family's stress levels, you can make the most of your family's Christmas this year! Here's how:
1. Refresh. Revisit some old family traditions that you haven't enjoyed in awhile and take the initiative to create some new ones. Some of the previous generations did a better job than we do with building family traditions. Traditions are important for families because they provide opportunities to keep your family legacy going. From the simple to the silly to the sentimental, traditions can create meaningful memories. As a parent, one of your jobs is to look for ways to promote special moments and traditions for your family -- ones that will create special family memories that your kids will keep forever.
2. Restore. Christmastime is a great time to reestablish connections with friends and family members with whom you've lost touch. Make a goal of restoring connection with at least one person or family member this year.
3. Relax. There are only so many hours in the day, so much money at your discretion, and only so much of "you" to go around. Well, it is my profound privilege to give you permission to not attend every Christmas pageant featuring a distant relative of yours, and when you've maxed out your gift-purchasing budget, please know that it's perfectly okay to say, "Enough. Our shopping is done."
4. Rejoice. And again I say, "Rejoice!" We're celebrating the birth of our Savior -- our whole reason for living! What kind of message do we send to an unbelieving world if we're cranky, hassled, and sad during Christmastime? Of all people, we should be the ones leading the celebrations! So enjoy the season and watch how many people wonder why you're so happy!