I've learned to pick and choose what events and parties I go to so I'm not slammed with rushing. It really is okay to say, "I can't make it."
I've also stopped all the shopping and baked a lot of my holiday gifts. People like sweets, ladies and gentlemen. Of course if you can't bake...I have no real advice for you. But if you can, and you don't suck at it. Holiday treat packages when made in bulk are actually less expensive and less time consuming than going into crowded shops and trying to figure out what so and so would like then settling on automated coin holders, dancing Santas, and snow globes. Unless of course you're friends do indeed like those things. I would rather have an assortment of fudge, cookies, and candies. Fudge is not a candy. It's in a class of its own.
Another tip, is I try to do some of my shopping online in one place for the free shipping. Especially, if I know what sizes etc... If you enjoy crowds and lines, by all means toss out the online shopping and go join in the
In the last four years, December has become relaxing and I can focus on the important things: Like lit up mornings from my tree, my hot tea since my doctor hates me and said I can't have coffee, my Bible and the reason for this season (yes that's a cliche phrase but it's still true). I can bake with my kiddos, watch Christmas movies till I want to gag--which is never because I love them, cheese and all. I can read tons of Christmas stories. Which are all on my Kindle! I can have lunch out with friends and not feel pressured to be busy.
Sometimes less really is more. Especially, when it comes to keeping your sanity and enjoying the holidays.
And one other thing I do that makes me enjoy the season, well two really. I take my son and we do a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. It's fun, it teaches my son to be a generous giver and I know it pleases God. Do you do this? Oh, you should. You should. It costs very little.
And number two (yes I said number two) is we give to a ministry that is dear to our hearts. I can't talk about it or write about it without crying. That is Project Rescue.
A ministry to rescued trafficked women, girls really, from brothels in India. Not only do they rescue them but they provide an after care for the children of the women who are still in the brothels. If they have no place to go during "work" hours, then some of them may have to lie under their mother's beds while they "work"!!! But Project Rescue provides a safe place where they can learn about Jesus. Have a meal. And sleep peacefully. They also teach the women how to provide for themselves! You can purchase gifts through Jubiliee Market. And they help them heal through creative outlets, like creative writing! I encourage you to give, if even $10 to this ministry.
So scrape off the excess on your plate wherever you can, however you can and fill it with meaningful, lasting things like memories and providing hope and laughter to those who may not have a a drop of it this season. Look for ways to meet needs. Bring a smile. And show how much Jesus loves this world. Enough to die for us to give us abundant life. Let's live it, shall we?
What is your favorite holiday dessert?
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