7 Ways to Survive Christmas

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1. If you’re old enough to read this, then remind yourself that you’ve done this before—and none of those Christmases Past finished you off.

2. Enough with the perfection already. You get to go on living even if you don’t get everything done. And you’re not auditioning for Martha Stewart, Oprah, or any other sentient being, human or divine.

3. Consider giving people gifts that don’t need wrapping: cards redeemable for focused time with you or gifts that involve your talents or expertise. And for the kids (or even adults too), some home-made items. Remember popcorn-string tree garlands? The home-made wooden truck your dad built for you? The dress your mom sewed for you?

4. Think minimal, think frugal, think downscale, think keep-it-simple. Think less of things and more of people—less of the clock and calendar, and more of those who have little or nothing.

5. Give of yourself and your means as much as you can, not only to those near and dear, but to those also who have nothing to give back but their gratitude.

6. Refuse time stress, money stress, do-it-all stress. Slow down, smell the roses (or enjoy the poinsettias), ask for help, delegate, raid the dollar store. If you and your family were stranded on that “desert island” with only each other at Christmas, would you maybe enjoy each other—and Christmas—just as much?

7. It may be almost a cliché by now, but to belabor the obvious, try not to leave Christ out of Christmas. This day isn’t about you or Santa Claus or Frosty or shopping till you drop. It’s about Him. It’s about love and giving—of which He’s the source. It’s about His creation and enjoyment of relationships. Include Him in—more than ever this year—and see what an amazing difference it makes!

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