Simple Christmas

I believe the best way to simplify your holiday season is to embrace tradition.

Stop for a moment, close your eyes with me, and think back. What do you remember from holidays past? You remember the simple things—the traditions, food, fun and family. Traditions are important because memories are what hold relationships together.

This Christmas, I encourage you to rediscover your love for Jesus by continuing some old traditions and establishing some new ones. The key is to keep them simple, memorable and something that the entire family connects with emotionally. It may be the way you go about opening your gifts, maybe it’s the location you open them, or what you do before you open your gifts. Some families read the Christmas story before opening gifts. Others say a prayer of thanksgiving together.

And here’s a specific word for those of you in blended families—don’t cast off your traditions. Instead, bring traditions from your old family into your new family so your children will have something positive to hold onto. Continuing the traditions they’ve held dear for years will provide some continuity for them. Design some new traditions as well. Begin creating new memories that both your children, and the children from your new spouse, can all enjoy as uniquely their own.

Traditions provide a good alternative to the commercialism associated with the holidays, and allow you to set aside specific time for family activities that are unique to your family. These memories create a legacy of love and togetherness for your entire family.

I also encourage you to simplify your Christmas season. Our tendency is to overdo everything during the holidays.

Here are some ONE THINGS you can do to simplify this year.

  • If you tend to over-expect, simplify by stepping back and determining the reality of what you can and can’t do, and be happy with that.
  • If you overwork, simplify by rescheduling your priorities and being sure to set aside specific time just for yourself to rest and recharge.
  • Instead of overeating, simplify by controlling your portions, deciding to eat only selected desserts and goodies in predetermined amounts, and not neglecting exercise.
  • If you’re someone who overcompensates, simplify by embracing your emotions, allowing yourself to be sad, but coming out of that quickly by seeing the positives that are present in your life right now.
  • Don’t overspend. Instead, simplify by determining now what you will and work spend, within your budget, and stay with that.
  • And rather than over-commit, simplify by embracing the freedom to say “no” to most of the requests, prioritize only what is most important, and get lots of sleep.

If you close your eyes and pray, I think you’ll find the true spirit of Christmas will bless you and your family.

Intentional ONE THING Challenge

If you could do ONE THING and know that it would make a significant, lasting, possibly life-changing difference in your life, would you do it? Dr. Carlson shares the power of ONE THING and why you should get started doing your ONE THING today.

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How do you celebrate Christmas? Tell us about your traditions? We’d love to hear your stories. Post your comments below.

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