This time of year can be so beautiful and exciting but it also can be busy, stressful, sad, and even frustrating. Christmas can invoke old memories and hurts. Alternatively, you may love Christmas so much that you want to do more than your body can handle. If you’re not careful you might make commitments and plans that will not only take your focus off the true meaning of the season but will also cause you to have a health setback.
How do we balance our health demands with the demands of the holidays?
Some of us really don’t have a choice. We don’t have the energy or even the desire to do anything extra for Christmas. That’s ok, we should be able to free ourselves from the guilt that a commercialized society and Pinterest heaps upon us. I’m going to give you and me, permission to just let go of the guilt!
When that guilt comes from our family members or children it can be even more painful. Some just won’t understand but that doesn’t change the fact that stress will make things worse with your health. If you relapse or have increased symptoms due to overwork or stress it could take days or weeks to recover.
We all need to remind ourselves what Christmas is really about and set boundaries so that we’re putting our health needs first.
I want you to take a minute and think about how Christmas might have been celebrated years ago. I’m not talking back in Jesus’ times, I’m talking even a hundred or two hundred years ago. I can assure you it didn’t involve shopping until you’re put into a stupor or massive amounts of debt.
Christmas is a reminder that Jesus came to earth to save us. God became flesh to live among us and take all our sins upon Himself, to offer us the free gift of salvation so that we could have eternal life.
Christmas was about spending time with loved ones and if gifts were involved they were handmade and thoughtful.
Before Christmas ever crept up on me I decided this year was going to be simple. I told myself that I had the perfect excuse for making this a simple year because we had just moved. In some ways, I honored the commitment I made to myself. I said no to offers for Christmas cookie swaps, parties, and long shopping lists. We set a budget which helps me to stay focused and to make sure I’m not spending too much.
I decided that homeschool could consist of real-life activities, purposeful reading and learning to serve and give. I cut my cookie baking way down and chose not to send Christmas cards this year except for a very few. I love doing all these things but I know my limits and realize that if I kept my normally busy schedule that I would probably not be able to enjoy Christmas.
This year I spent one wonderful day shopping at our little mall, which turned out perfect for me because it really hurts to walk right now. Almost everything is wrapped, I’ve begun cookie baking, but not as much as usual, and I’m spacing out my to-do list so that I don’t wear myself out. I’m taking naps, sitting down in between tasks, and I’m agreeing to sit every evening with a cup of tea to watch Christmas movies with my kids.
Sometimes having ho-hum health can be turned into good for a busy, non-stop Mom whose ideas are beyond what her body is willing to cooperate with.
It sure has forced me to slow down, be realistic and spend more quality time with my family.
I pray you have a restful, peaceful and blessed Christmas with your family.