10 Ways to Take the Crazy out of Christmas
Sometime around the beginning of September, after all the summer travels are over, back to school shopping is done, the kids are back in school and our daily routine has returned, someone on social media has the audacity to post one of the pictures of Buddy the Elf saying how many “sleeps” we have left until Christmas morning. I finally feel like life is back in control after the wave of summer fun and activity and all of a sudden this wave of anxiety creeps over me…Christmas is coming. Now, I love Christmas as much as anyone- the lights, the gifts, the Christmas carols, the dinners, the parties, the celebration, the traditions and so on, but it can bring a hefty amount of anxiety and stress, too. Anybody with me? So this year I’ve decided to happen TO Christmas to help alleviate this stress and free my heart and mind up to focus on what Christmas is really all about. After all, that’s what The Advent Kids are all about.
Here are my tips and the top 10 things I’m doing this year to help take the crazy out of Christmas:
1. Budgeting. We are HUGE Dave Ramsey/Financial Peace University fans and I always tell people that aside from loving Jesus and loving each other, applying the principles we have learned through FPU is the greatest thing we’ve done in our marriage. Dave is notorious for saying- somehow we are always surprised that Christmas is on Dec. 25th again this year! Start budgeting for Christmas as early as you can. Decide how much money you are going to spend on Christmas and don’t spend a dime more. Dave has several great articles, tips and tools to help you.
2. Embrace the Christmas Creep. Christmas seems to creep into stores earlier and earlier every year. Instead of whining about it, take the opportunity to plan for and finish all your shopping and DIY projects. Plus, a lot of stores run sales and specials for early shopping and planning. Check out our blog about Christmas Creep for more info.
3. Clean out your fridge/pantry in November. Do a massive clean out and organization of your fridge and pantry in the month of November to make room for the Christmas (and Thanksgiving) food influx.
4. Stock your pantry. Stock up on non-perishable staples you will need for all your holiday baking and cooking. Even the grocery stores are much busier during the holidays so plan ahead and save the stress.
5. Meal plan. In November, double recipes that freeze easily to make meal prepping easier in December.
6. Simplify your calendar and commitments. Decide what activities you are going to commit to during the month of December and let got of the rest. This year at The Advent Kids, we’ve made our “Acts of Christmas Kindness” list of ideas avaible now so you can pick and choose which work for you. Maybe you do one everyday or maybe you only pick one to focus on. Decide what works for you!
8. Cut corners where you can. I’ll admit it- I am a homemade, from scratch food snob. I love holiday baking/cooking. However, sometimes you just need to go with convenience meals to help you focus on what’s important at Christmas. Besides, Costco pumpkin pie is as good as any homemade pumpkin pie I’ve ever eaten and you can’t even make a pie that big for $5.99. Save the headache.
9. Spend some time each day being still. This is such a hard habit to form, but it’s SO important. Spend some time each day during the Christmas season just BEING. Maybe put on a Christmas CD, pour a cup of coffee or cocoa, open up your Bible and just be still. You decide how long. The greatest gift you can give yourself this Christmas season is the gift of being in His Presence. This year at The Advent Kids, we’ve made our daily scripture readings available as a download to make spending time in His presence even easier this Christmas season.
10. Follow The Advent Kids this Christmas season! Our hearts desire at The Advent Kids is to help families focus on the true meaning of Christmas. When we start focusing on how much God loves us and the tremendous hope we have in Him, nothing else matters.