“Peace on Earth” We see that in so many places in the lead up to Christmas. Does it reflect your reality right now? Does your little part of the world feel peaceful? I’m willing to guess that few would be able to answer “yes” to that question. This time of year has a way of magnifying the stressors already present and adds a good dose of family angst, high expectations, and busyness in for good measure. That isn’t even including the more global tension, disasters, and conflict.
Is there any hope for peace? Is this some unattainable goal for the Christmas season? I’m discovering that it is possible but takes significant intention and preparation. I have seen the difference that forethought makes in my own experience and now I love passing on that hope to others.
Take a moment to pause right now. What are the tension and stress points for you right now and in this Christmas season? Write them down.
Now put that list aside for a moment. Think about what you want the focus of this season to be for you and your family this year. Write it down as kind of a mission statement for your Advent season (that just means the season leading up to Christmas). This becomes a filter for the decisions and activities at this time. If it doesn’t match and build into that, consider letting that activity go.
Be realistic with the time you have. Start your planning by filling in the non-negotiable events and see what time is left over. You are the one making the decisions about how much to cram into your days. There are always far more great opportunities and fun activities around than we can do. We have to get highly selective.
I have created a free gift for you to help you with this process. It is an ebook and printable planner for you to use. You can get your free copy here:
Go back to your stress list. Have any of them been resolved by walking through this process of editing and being selective? There will always be factors on our list that are beyond our control. Maybe for you, it is tension in your family, financial stress or health concerns. I don’t pretend that all of that can just disappear with some planning and letting go. In my experience, simplifying and re-focusing is even more important when we have these heavy burdens to carry. We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can work on being more equipped to handle them and on how we respond.
For me, building my strength and resilience and increasing peace despite circumstances is intricately linked with my faith. I am closely connected with the source of peace and hope. I have a deep assurance of safety and love. I can rest in knowing that no matter what, I will be ok. I have the focus on celebrating the coming of Jesus at this time of year, the fresh reminder of His grace and love for me.
No matter what you believe and how you view this Christmas season, I hope that you find peace and space in this season.