Every year as Christmas creeps closer and closer, I am filled with anticipation for the joy of the season, but also anxiety sets in as I wonder if I will be able to get everything done in time. From preparing kids for Christmas plays, to hosting and
finding peace during the Christmas seasonattending parties, to determining and buying the perfect gifts for each family member, not to mention decorating the tree, baking cookies, wrapping presents, and sending out Christmas cards, it’s a crazy time of year!  It feels like a race to get it all done by Christmas!

With all the hustle and bustle of activities at Christmas time, it’s easy to loose sight of the REAL REASON we celebrate and REST and really ENJOY the season with our family.  Here are a few simple tips to help us make this Christmas a peaceful AND joyful one as we celebration of our Savior’s birth. 

1. Ask God what He wants you to prioritize this year.

Spend some time praying and ask God to direct you as to what activities He wants you to focus on this Christmas.  Be willing to let go of things you may want to do but are not what God has planned for you.  By letting HIM set your priorities, you will be less stressed and the most blessed- I know from experience!!

Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29 NLT

Grab a journal and a quiet place and ask God some questions as you think about the Christmas season this year.

  • Lord, how do you want me to spend time with YOU this season and be filled with Your love, peace and joy?
  • What creative ways can I share the message of Jesus’s birth with my children during the Christmas holiday?
  • What can we do as a family to share your love with others?
  • What activities do you want me to prioritize in order to spend special quality time with my family?
  • What activities do you want me to let go of, so that I can do the things you are calling me to do?

2.  Schedule Your Activities Ahead of Time.

It’s far too easy to get side tracked and forget to follow through with what God has laid on our hearts.  We must go the next step so that we do not become distracted by other activities around us.  Once you have an idea of what to prioritize and what not to prioritize,  get your calendar out and ask the Lord to give you wisdom on WHEN to be doing these things.  I have found when I ask Him to guide my week or month and write my to do’s on my calendar, I am much better equipped to prioritize life and not get overwhelmed.

3.  Obey God in What He Calls You to Do. 

The last step is easy…well easier said than done… FOLLOW your calendar each day and tweak or add things as you feel led.  Pray through the day and ask God to help you feel his love, peace and joy as you follow God’s plan.

And remember the greatest commandments spoken by Jesus are most important. At the end of the day, if you don’t get your favorite Christmas cookies baked or all your packages mailed off before the long lines start at the post office, remember that what really matters is loving God and loving others.  If you are prioritizing those two things this season, you can’t really go wrong.

With these ideas in mind, I have created 21 Days of Surprises:  A Countdown to Christmas as a way to help you prioritize the important things this Christmas with your family.  Each day your family will move forward on a game square and either: read a scripture passage from the Christmas story and answer questions, participate in a simple application activity based off the scripture readings, have a surprise family fun night, or participate in a family service project.   The count down allows you to pick the days you would like to do each activity in order to make it conducive for your schedule and gives you ideas of family fun nights and service projects to add into your countdown!

Click here for get your free copy!   Those who are subscribed to my newsletter will automatically receive the countdown free in your inbox!

Have a merry Christmas, and may you find time to rest and enjoy this special season!