3 ways to survive the holidays this year

The holidays can be kinda crazy, to say the least.

Presents to buy, parties to go to, cookies to bake, preschool Christmas programs to attend (where your kid awkwardly stands on stage and doesn’t sing any of the songs), not to mention all the strange relatives you have to see.

There are a lot of lists out there about how to make it through this wonderful time of year, most of which involve drinking too much eggnog, but is there a way to actually survive (and enjoy) Christmas without going crazy by New Year’s Eve?

Here are 3 ways to survive the holiday season that don’t involve baking, buying, or watching an excessive amount of Hallmark Christmas movies:

  • Make room for Jesus.

Wait? Another thing to do? I don’t have time for that.

Why would making room for even more stuff help us survive the holidays this year?

One word: Joy.

So often we talk about cutting things out of our schedule to have more time to read our Bible, pray, and spend time with Jesus, but we don’t talk about why we’re doing it.

Here’s the truth: the more room we have in our lives, the more room we have in our hearts, the more Jesus we can have. And as a result, the more joy can fill us.

Here’s the truth: the more room we have in our lives, the more room we have in our hearts, the more Jesus we can have. And as a result, the more joy can fill us.

More room.
More Jesus.
More joy.

Is anyone looking for joy this Christmas? I know I am!

When I look at my life there are few things I want more than joy.

I’m running after all this stuff.
I’m consumed with all these different things.

Maybe for you it’s money.
Status.
Relationships.
Blinging out your house.
Yet, none of it is ever enough.

But hear this, an angel tells a group of shepherds “I bring you good news of great joy!” Jesus has come and he is the source of joy, he’s where all our joy comes from. Making room for Jesus is how and why we can survive this crazy holiday season! He’s the one who gives us joy in the midst of the chaos of Christmas.

  •  Hold on to hope.

Even in the midst of all those Christmas carols singing about hope and joy, sometimes it’s hard to be hopeful during this time of year.

Maybe you’re not able to be with family over the holidays.
Maybe your family is the thing that’s stressing you out.
Maybe finances are tight.
Maybe this is the first Christmas you’ll celebrate without a loved one.
Maybe you’re walking through one of the hardest seasons of your life.
Not to mention all the depressing stuff that’s going on in the news.

Hold on to hope? How is that even possible?

Because even in this mess called life, even though the world is tired and weary and so are we, we can know this:

That God is with us.
That He is near us.
That He loves us.

Even when things seem hopeless, we can have hope and we can expect that God is up to something good.

Even when things seem hopeless, we can have hope and we can expect that God is up to something good.

Even in the worst, He is in control. He has a plan.

We can survive the holidays this year by clinging to the one hope that remains when everything else seems up in the air.

  • Bring your best (and worst).

Whether we realize it or not, we all have gifts to bring this holiday season.

Maybe for you that looks like being generous with your time or money.
Offering hospitality to family and friends.
Finding creative ways to entertain all the kids in your family so others can rest.
Or being there for someone going through a hard time.

This Christmas, whatever gifts, talents, and passions you have, bring your best and use them for God! Instead of focusing on yourself, look for ways that you can show people Jesus! Through your words, attitude, and actions. In big ways, but more importantly, in simple non-flashy ways! When we allow God to use us, we find the joy, peace, and contentment that we’re looking for.

When we allow God to use us, we find the joy, peace, and contentment that we’re looking for.

Again, what do you have? Bring your best and use it for God!

But hear this: God doesn’t only want our best, He wants our worst as well. Why? Because He wants every part of who we are. He isn’t looking for the pretty Sunday version of ourselves, instead He’s looking for the real us. The unfiltered person that we really are. The good, bad, and ugly.

The bitterness we have towards the person who hurt us.
The anxiety we feel from not measuring up to where we hoped to be in life.
Sadness over broken relationships.
Fear going into the new year and facing the unknown.

God wants us to bring all of this to Him. He wants us to hand over our bitterness, anxiety, sadness, and fear over to Him. To trust Him.

God wants us to hand over our bitterness, anxiety, sadness, and fear over to Him. To trust Him.

So bring your worst to God this holiday season.

And not just to God, but share your worst with a trustworthy friend or two. You’ll probably find that someone else has been exactly where you are right now. You’ll be better able to be there for other people when they know you don’t have it all figured out either.

Surviving the holidays this year isn’t about how many times we watch Elf or the amount of turkey we consume. Instead surviving the holidays all comes back to one thing, actually one person: Jesus. Making room for him, holding on to the hope he brings, and bringing our best (and worst) to the table for him.

If we do those three things I promise we’ll survive, and maybe even enjoy, Christmas this year!

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4 Comments on "3 ways to survive the holidays this year"

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Steve Behrens

Merry Christmas Adam! May you continue to be blessed into the new year and beyond.

Woody Peet

Merry Christmas Adam, I share a birthday with Jesus but the stress level is in high gear. I pray for his peace and I wish that you also pray for peace within me.

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