“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
To some, this statement is completely and 100% accurate but to others, it’s totally false. Some people deal with financial stress during the holidays that may seem unbearable and leaves you wanting to be done with the holiday season all together. Have you ever felt this way? I’ll let you in on a little secret…I have.
I’ve always loved Christmas time. I’m the girl who begins playing Christmas music in JULY (yup, you heard me correctly! lol). When I was younger Christmas meant lots of family, great music, and delicious food. It also meant get-togethers in the home I grew up in as a child. It was a big 3-family house with a finished basement, updated kitchen and bathroom, and a decent amount of yard space. In many ways, the home I grew up in framed the way I envisioned Christmas should be. As the years progressed and my family changed, Christmas began to change too.
I linked Christmas time with having abundance. However, now that I have my own family things aren’t exactly the same. We don’t live in a big 3 family house, and we don’t have the money to live the life I had when I was younger. In all actuality, while I wish I could buy every single person I know and love a gift, I can’t. And the few people I do buy gifts for, it’s coming from a loving place but also burns a hole in my pocket because we still have to pay all of our OTHER bills. Financial stress during the holidays is REAL! am I right or am I right?
So, what do I do to remain joyful during this season and not allow financial stress to overtake me?
- Focus on the reason for the season – JESUS’ BIRTH!! My Pastor is preaching a sermon series entitled “God With Us” that has really helped me to realize that the season is not about money…AT ALL. It’s about Jesus. The fact that He was born and knowing all that He accomplished in His life just for me is reason enough to enjoy the Holiday Season.
- Remain Positive – it’s SO easy to sit, think, and dwell on how much we don’t have but flip the script on yourself. Write a list of all that you DO have. Personally, thinking about all that has transpired this year, specifically the moment that I almost died, is enough to keep me grateful.
- Don’t Complain – It’s so easy to complain about anything – annoying and miserable family members, not having enough money to buy food for your house, much less presents, and the list goes on and on. But, when we complain we’re literally making the situation worse. There is POWER in our words (Prov 18:21). Don’t allow ill situations cause you to speak negatively over your life, even if you feel like you’re saying things that are already true. Reverse that truth with your words.
- Do things that don’t cost money! Sometimes the need for money blinds us from the reality that there are so many FREE things that we can do.
- Christmas Caroling (the music ministry at my church is doing this next week and I’m sooooooo excited about it!)
- Visit the tree in New York City – it’s such a beautiful sight!
- Listen to Christmas music (spotify, pandora, and youtube are all FREE.99!)
- GIVE – Whether it be your time, money, or other resources, giving to others gives you an immediate sense of gratitude for what you do have.
I hope these little tips help you get through the rest of the holiday season with a smile 🙂
I love you all! :*