This Week’s Question is about the upcoming holidays and it comes from Morgan in Kingston, Ontario
Hi Pastor Lily,
The holidays are coming up and I have family visiting from all over to stay with us for a few days. I am excited to see everyone but at the same time, I feel like I’m going to be overwhelmed by all the things I have to do to entertain them. I’m afraid that I won’t get to enjoy spending time with any of them. I also don’t want to lose the meaning of Christmas in all the noise.
Got any suggestions?
What a wonderful problem to have. So many people will be spending the holidays feeling lonely and hungry. Let’s take a moment to thank God for the blessings of friends, family and good food.
That being said, you’re dealing with a problem that we all struggle with on a daily basis, but the holidays make it exponentially more challenging.
I would suggest brainstorming two separate lists.
First, The Essential to do list.
Try to keep this one very short. 3 to 5 points max
When the holidays are over, what do you want to have spent your time doing?
- Making a pie with grandma?
- Going sledding with the whole family?
- Volunteering as a group for a Christmas meal?
- Doing a daily Christmas devotional with the kids?
- Watching a favorite movie together?
Keep the list short and focused on the activities that will garner the greatest joy, quality family time and satisfaction for all.
Second, your TO DON”T List
Stick all of the time draining, life-sucking activities that you won’t be doing on this list. Include activities and traditions that you feel pressured to do but don’t want to.
- Making cinnamon buns from scratch on Christmas morning. – nice idea but you know it’s going to make a mess of the kitchen, important things will get sticky and baking at 5:30 am is not your thing.
- Getting the carpet cleaned before guests arrive. – if this is going to put pressure on you with your limited time and cause you to fuss the whole time you have company over spills, wait and do it another time.
- Making 16 dozen cookies for some a bake exchange. Again, if it’s not your thing, just say no.
The secret to enjoying the holidays and your company is not trying to do everything.
Like Mary who chooses to sit at the feet of Jesus instead of helping in the kitchen, we have to make choices. We have to sacrifice what we wish we could do if you had 4 extra hands and 10 extra hours in a day and appreciate what we have been blessed with instead.
Two more tips before you go.
1. Don’t try to do everything on your own. It’s nice to serve other people, but it can be very isolating and demanding. Instead, try to get everyone participating in the jobs that need to be done so they are finished faster. Kitchen clean up is a great time to laugh and share stories.
2. These days there are a lot of helpful services that can save you time. Instead of spending 2 hours in the grocery store, why not create your order online and just pick everything up.
Finally, if you’ve got a daily bible reading and or time, do your best to stick to it. It’s easy to let those important habits slide during busy seasons and it’s a real struggle to get back on track. So guard that time with God and insist that people respect that it’s something you need to do and it’s Non-negotiable.
Have a wonderful Christmas
God Bless you.
It’s a great privilege and honour to be able to share the wisdom and understanding that God has given me with all of you. If you would like to stay up to date and enjoy the upcoming free bonus material like The Ultimate Guide to being a Princess in The Kingdom of God, – a free eBook I’m working on, then you’ll want to sign up for the free newsletter and bonus material I share exclusively with those who have invited me into their inbox.