2015-10-23 / Faith

Commentary Christian Living

Follow some simple steps for stress-free holidays
By Debbie Dillon
Special to the Acorn

Debbie Dillon Debbie Dillon Even though pumpkins and fall decorations are just now making their annual appearance, now is the perfect time to prepare our hearts for the holiday season ahead.

For some, the thought of family gatherings, perhaps strained relationships, limited finances and the pressure to shop until you drop can make Thanksgiving and Christmas an exhausting time of year both physically and emotionally.

Here are just a few suggestions to help remove some of the burden associated with the holidays and allow you to celebrate all the joys of the season:

•Shift the way you think about the holidays. Instead of looking back on memories and the way things used to be, focus on making new memories and creating completely new traditions.

• Be all about the giving. “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12)

Giving doesn’t have to be on an elaborate scale simply because it’s Christmas. Sometimes, the best gift of all is the gift of your time.

•Plan now to take a friend or family member to a live performance of “The Nutcracker” or to a movie.

Volunteer to serve meals at a local mission or food pantry.

Plan a cooking or baking day. Mark your calendar and schedule a day to get in the kitchen and make freezer-friendly meals for others: a family with a new baby, someone recovering from surgery, a housebound senior citizen or the pastor of your church.

•Buy a few small, tabletop Christmas trees and deliver them to those unable to purchase their own.

•Avoid conversations and situations that could possibly resurrect painful memories or bad feelings. Stay around upbeat, forward-thinking people.

•Stay rooted in God’s word. Committing time each day to study God’s word and to pray, especially during the holidays when we’re most vulnerable to the enemy’s attack, is the most important thing we can do not only to ensure a joyful holiday season but a joyful and fulfilled life.

•“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Debbie Dillon is the founder/ publisher of Christian Women’s Voice Magazine. Visit http:// christianwomensvoice.org.

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