Twelve Steps To Take the Hectic Out of the Holidays

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Plan ahead. (I make the yams, cranberry salad, and cookies and breads for gifts ahead and freeze them. Label them well.)
  3. Shop ahead for gifts. If you don’t have money, don’t spend it.
  4. The reason for the season is not gifts, or even family. Remember to thank God and worship Him. Slow down. “Does this help me worship?”
  5. Lights uplift me when days are short and darkness settles early in the evening.
  6. Don’t be bound by traditions. Decorating the tree was not enjoyable to my boys, so I didn’t make them. Now my youngest enjoys it. He decorates it by himself.
  7. Listen to Christmas carols that tell of the true Christmas story. Music helps in worship.
  8. Share the Savior with someone this season.
  9. Invite someone who has no family to share Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with you.
  10. We host a cookie exchange for the neighborhood. They bring their favorite cookies to share; they leave with an assortment from everyone. We learn what the year has brought them.
  11. Our Christmas letter takes me months to prepare. Telling what God has taught makes it a testimony of His work. I start early (September) so envelopes are ready for the final draft. The family picture seems a monumental event, requiring many trials and errors before we all consent. (Seems to take more, the older the boys get.) I do what I can before December. Does the letter have to be at Christmas?
  12. Let the cleaning go. Enjoy the people.

Use the gifts that God has given you to reach out to those who need to hear about the Savior and to be encouraged this Christmas.

What do you do to help slow down during the Christmas season?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
Three Book Series