Battling Busyness at Christmastime


Recently I’ve been reflecting on the season of Christmas itself and the fact that, just like the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. The shopping, the gift-giving, the traditions, the gatherings… the gatherings…. The gatherings.

Some of you just went from a warm fuzzy feeling directly into a cold sweat because I turned your thoughts from the happy little Christmas tune to the jam-packed calendar. For many of us, the truth is that Christmas isn’t just wonderful; it’s also BUSY. In fact, for some families, Christmas ends up being defined more by its busyness than by its wonderfulness.

Fortunately, that isn’t true of my family. I suspect that with four young children and a handful of non-local family gatherings we are no less “busy” than the average family at Christmastime. And yet I can say that I have never really felt all that busy this time of year even though I probably really am.

The difference is, I think, that we have picked up on a few coping mechanisms that have helped us to remain underwhelmed by the “busyness” of Christmas so that we can instead focus on the overwhelming wonderfulness of the season.

Here are a few tips to help you battle your busyness this Christmas.

Change your thinking. The way we think truly has a powerful effect on the way we feel; so determine to keep the negative thoughts at bay. The sooner you decide to think positively about all the goings-on of Christmas, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy them.

Plan ahead. Timely preparation is one of the best ways to avoid stress. Whatever your Christmas agenda requires of you, start working on it early. Whether it’s shopping for that hard-to-buy-for relative or making a packing list for your Christmas travels, don’t leave the tough stuff to the last minute. Get those stressful things checked off your To Do list so you can start enjoying the season.

Establish traditions that work for you. Remember that not everything has to happen on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. If you have several extended family gatherings to attend over the actual Christmas holiday, consider establishing a non-traditional tradition for your family by celebrating with your kids early. Do what it takes to make your celebration truly special and set aside and not just another item squeezed into the busy Christmas schedule.

Let’s not be so busy “celebrating” Christmas this year that we forget to celebrate Christmas!

What are you doing this Christmas to keep the busyness of your schedule from overwhelming and overshadowing the wonderfulness of the season?



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