Earlier in the semester, as we begun to unpack our theme, “First Things First,” I included in one of my articles the statement “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” To further clarify this statement, if we are not intentional on how we spend our time and money, life will have us spending them in ways that we don’t necessarily want to.
If this is true at other times of the year, it is doubly true during the Christmas season. Unfortunately, for many of us, especially the moms in our community, the Christmas season is not one of peace and rest but instead of overwhelming activity and demands.
A step we may need to take, to gain control over this crazy busy season, is to determine ahead of time what we want for ourselves and our family. In other words, “what are your priorities for the season?” Many of us have never really done this and so we are tossed to and fro by the expectations, traditions, and demands of the season.
A part of what drives the hectic pace of this season is the desire by parents to have the perfect Christmas for our families; the perfect dinner, the perfect presents, the perfect decorations, etc. We are trying to live up to expectations that instead of giving life, to you and your family, actually suck the life out of you and leave you tired, exhausted, and broke.
Don’t get me wrong, if the activities you are doing during this season serve the people around you, bring joy to your family, and nurture the real reason for the holiday than more power to you. But if Christmas leaves you and your bank account teetering on empty, then maybe it is time to change what you do, or more importantly, change what you feel like you have to do.
If you don’t determine ahead of time the what, when, and why of what you will be doing this Christmas, someone else will. So this year I encourage you to focus less on meeting everyone else’s expectations, trying to achieve the perfect Christmas, and buying tons of presents, and instead focus more on being present – spending time with your family, giving hugs, singing songs, helping others, and spreading joy.