Christmas is my favorite time of year, but it hasn’t always been that way. For many years I looked at December as a list of duties and obligations. The decorations, parties, events, and gifts. Everything!
The thing is, we are the ones in control. We choose what we allow into our holiday celebrations and what we won’t. We are the architects of our December schedule. The holidays happen by our design.
And that’s the problem. We don’t take time to design. We fill our schedules before we design what they should look like, and we end up in a great big frenzy!
Freedom from frenzy comes when we remove the “oppression of overdoing” that has a hold on us. To do this, we need to start by figuring out specifically where that oppression is coming from.
Here are six ways to find freedom from the frenzy this Christmas:
1. Make a list of all that worries you about Christmas tasks and events. A great start to fixing the problem is knowing the problem!
2. After each item ask, “Why does this worry me?” Be real with the answers.
3. Make hard choices. Once your worries are written down, then it’s time to tackle them. How you choose to tackle them will be unique to your situation. You are the only one who can make the choices, but here are a few ideas to find freedom from the frenzy:
- Events: Choose one or two important gatherings to participate in. Say no to the rest.
- Gifts: Decide the one gift your family member would like the most—forget all the sales, forget what the neighbor kids are getting—and buy only that. (Remember that when asked, most kids would rather have TIME with their parents than GIFTS from their parents.)
- Decorations: Pick out your favorite holiday decorations. Only put up those. Keep the rest boxed up. Just because you have them doesn’t mean you have to use them.
- Cards: Whittle down your Christmas card list to a few select individuals—those who aren’t online and don’t see updates of your family on a regular basis.
4. Write down YOUR answers to the holiday frenzy. Deep down you have the answers of what needs to stay and what needs to go. Write “The answers to my frenzy problem” at the top of a blank page and then get to writing. Don’t stop to contemplate; just write!
5. Write out steps to implement your plan. Knowing what to change isn’t the problem. You have to be brave enough to do what you know you need to do! Write down changes that need to occur and when they will happen. Include little boxes for you to check them off. Ninety percent of the freedom comes from having a plan!
6. Free your soul, not just your calendar. Take time to write out the answers to these questions:
- What is missing in my soul that makes me turn to frenzy to fill those empty places?
- What gift does Jesus want to give me and my family this Christmas? Am I willing to accept it?
- What freedoms am I taking for granted? How can I celebrate the freedom I have in Christ with my family?
Friend, you may need to return to these questions numerous times, but when you do remember that the answer is always the same: Jesus.
Whenever you feel the frenzy burdening you, turn to Him. As Psalms 119:45 says, “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments” (NLT).
Whenever we feel we have too much going on, it’s a sign we need more of the most important thing … Him!