During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the details. Having the right gift for the right person, and making sure everything is set for Christmas and family gatherings can be stressful. Often times the stress of it all can distract us from the real meaning of Christmas, and we are left feeling guilty or ashamed. I can recall from my childhood the stress in my family around this time of year, and how it took the fun almost completely out of everything. If “Why does everyone else seem to have it all together? Why can’t OUR family be more like THEIRS?!?” is your anthem, there is hope.
It seems like it’s always easier said than done, but I’m telling you it’s true. If this sounds like what you typically experience over the Christmas holidays, then you need to know that you have the power to change it! Here are some simple “gifts” you can give that can definitely turn things around and make the holidays memorable (in a great way!):
The Gift of Gratitude
I cannot state the importance of this one enough. Gratitude is one of the very first things that should be practiced on a daily basis to avoid the slumps of the holidays. Give praise to God for all that you’ve been blessed with is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Don’t believe me? Take the gratitude challenge! For the next 2 weeks, commit to writing down 3-5 things for which you are grateful every single morning, and watch what happens from day to day.
The Gift of Forgiveness
This is another great gift you give yourself. Often times, people make the mistake of thinking that forgiveness is about the individual being forgiven, but in reality it has little to do with them. Forgiveness is not a pass or excuse for the wrong doer, but a release from the bondage of resentment and pain.
The Gift of Receiving
In order for anyone to experience the joy of giving, we need to allow it to happen by receiving well. It’s not uncommon to feel guilty or upset with ourselves when a loved one has a gift for us, and we didn’t reciprocate. However, we steel their joy when we allow these feelings to prevent us from receiving their gift gracefully. Be a good receiver, and that is itself a gift! Besides, if you forgot to gift someone you wanted, who said the exchange has to happen on a set day? Send them your belated love, and the problem is solved!
Follow these tips and watch your stress fade. These truly are some of the greatest holiday gifts!