Friday, December 11, 2015

Managing the Christmas Craziness, a guest post from Lisa Potter

Hi friends! 
My dear friend, Lisa Potter, has graciously written a guest post for me this week. She is a beautiful mother to two great, grown-up kids and has lived through the hectic season of Christmas many times. I learned a lot from her many years ago when we lived in the same town. She and her husband pastored our church and she was an integral part of launching the Moms and More Bible study that so wonderfully helped us young momas when our babies were all so little. Some days we all showed up with bedhead and spit-up stained shirts, but she loved us despite it. Those moments are so precious to me and rank in the top 5 things I miss most about Virginia. 


Top 5 Tips for Managing Christmas Craziness

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it?  Unfortunately, I’m Type A with high hopes and a short fuse.  Adding one more thing to the organizational portfolio can often send this task oriented gal spinning in a downward direction.  I LOVE Christmas, the reason we celebrate: Emmanuel, God with us. It doesn’t get any more special than this. Jesus is the reason for the season, and then I’m side tracked with putting up the Christmas decorations, buying and wrapping gifts, attending and hosting Christmas parties, rehearsals and costumes for Christmas plays, and baking goodies to share.  Forget about dreaming of a white Christmas because that would be the added work of shoveling the driveway!
What can we do?  Skipping Christmas, isn’t an option (unless you’re the Grinch), but here are five easy and fun tips for managing the Christmas craziness:

  1. Deck the halls or not. 
  • Although I love decorating, there were many years when this added to the craziness of my life.  Be realistic.  Are you traveling for Christmas?  Had a busy year?  If so, do you need to get out all the trimmings or will a few suffice to make your home feel festive?  The basics are a Christmas tree, wreath on the door, and peace in your heart.
  • Enlist help.  A neighborhood teen or youth at the church were always willing to spend time at my house and go home with extra Christmas cash.  I would use them to keep the kids busy, help with decorating or clean up.  And if, per chance, your family loves to help, go right ahead and deck the halls with boughs of holly and Fa la la la la right through it all.
  • Just make sure whatever you do, it’s for you to enjoy and not the pressure of the neighborhood over-achiever. 
  1. Hark the herald angels sing and spread some Christmas cheer. 
  • Spreading Christmas cheer to others gets the attention off of us and onto what is really important. My kids are adults now, but favorite Christmas memories are when we would visit the nursing home during the holidays.  Lindsay would play piano and visit and Andrew would engage in Wii bowling in the activity center.  The best part, for me, watching the younger and older generations connecting and seeing the joy on each of their faces.
  • Engage in simple ways to teach your family the importance of giving and not only receiving. 
  • Here are a few ideas. Serve in a homeless shelter, donate coats, bless a less fortunate family with gifts and food, but whatever you do, spread some Christmas cheer.
  1. Away in a manger.  
  • Keep the main thing the main thing—Jesus.  If there were no manger, no baby, no shepherds, no star, no wise men, then there would be no reason for Christmas.  Jesus is the hope of the world. 
  • Settling in with a daily Advent book can bring the perfect peace for the start or end of a day in December.  A reminder that we are looking forward to the arrival of the glorious Christ child.
  1. Jingle some bells and get out and have some FUN!  
  • The FUN category to managing Christmas craziness is filled with endless possibilities. 
  • Go for a sleigh ride, enjoy the lighting of the town Christmas tree, attend a parade, take a walk in the snow, drink hot chocolate and watch your favorite Christmas movie. 
  1. Make sure mommy is seen kissing Santa Claus.  
  • This one is my favorite!  Take time for you and your spouse to cuddle and enjoy the Christmas tree. 
  • These are precious memories for your family to remember.  Life is busy.  Allow time for pause, reflection, cuddling and kissing, and warmth. 
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Give yourself grace.  Love generously.  Be present for each moment (they grow up quickly).

Merry Christmas Friends!

Lisa 


So, do you have any suggestions on containing the crazy? 
How do you keep your focus on Jesus during the rush of the holiday? 
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your ideas with others. 

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