06 Dec 8 ways to prepare for a great Christmas

Have you ever thought to yourself, “This year, Christmas is going to be different”?

You are reminded of previous family gatherings and shiver when you recall all of the planning, anticipation and scheduling stress you and your family endured. You experience flashbacks of awkward conversations with distant relatives, scrambling for last-minute gifts, nonstop activities and not nearly enough sleep.

Fortunately, the holidays don’t have to be that way. It won’t be easy, but you and your family can survive the Christmas season—and still like each other!

Here are 8 down-to-earth ways you can prepare yourself and your family for a great Christmas season:

8. Be realistic

When we try to create the “perfect” Christmas holiday experience, we can drive our family and ourselves crazy. We might go to great lengths to recreate our favorite Christmas moment. The problem is that this is almost impossible to do. Something always seems to go wrong. If something doesn’t turn out exactly right, it’s OK. Just let it go; don’t feel guilty. Take a breath and move on!

7. Ask for help

If it’s up to you to decorate the house, engage your kids. If you are hosting the main meal, ask other family members to bring a side dish or be responsible for one of the activities. You don’t have to do it all.

6. “No” is not a bad word

It’s OK to say “no” when you are asked to do more than you or your family can do. You’ll actually feel much better about declining another party invitation or one more favor. Don’t forget: It’s your holiday, too!

5. Moderation is the key

The holidays are filled with opportunities that rarely exist throughout the rest of the year. (Can you say pumpkin pie?) But the feelings of regret and remorse after overindulging on food, shopping or anything else always outweighs the temporary satisfaction those activities bring.

4. Take time to connect

You might connect in person or at holiday gatherings, or maybe take the time to call or text friends or family members you haven’t talked with in some time. Take advantage of these moments and make the most of them.

3. Take time to reflect

Every family has those special Christmas memories they share. Some are humorous, while others are more serious. Take the opportunity to look back and share those memories with your family. They may laugh or roll their eyes, but they are an important part of your family’s history.

2. Leave the past in the past

Everyone has experienced those not-so-perfect events or conversations with family members. Make a commitment to focus on today and not dredge up yesterday.

1. Don’t forget the real reason for the season

Christmas has been celebrated since around 336 A.D. Most people know it is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but this can get crowded out by gift giving, family gatherings and many other messages during the Christmas season. Don’t forget to take time during the hustle and bustle to focus on God’s greatest gift, His Son Jesus.

If you want to focus on the good news of Christmas, make plans to attend Legacy’s family-friendly Christmas services on December 24. These candlelit services will remind you of the hope that we have because of Jesus’ birth. Choose the time and location that works best for your family.

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Adapted from Michael Kast  Campus Pastor, Elizabethtown Campus, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY
Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash