How to Enjoy Your Christmas Season

by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Do you envision the perfect holiday, the kind featured in greeting card commercials and portrayed in home magazines, and then feel discouraged and disappointed when your Christmas fails to live up to the hype? Here are five ways to help you enjoy your holiday season:

1) Keep the focus on Christ.
Christmas is about Christ's birth. By keeping the focus on celebrating the spiritual aspect of the holy day instead of the commercial aspect of the holiday, you will be better able to keep your priorities in order.

2) Evaluate your traditions.
Many times we do certain things a certain way simply because we have always done them that way. Take a good look at the items on your "must-do" list. Do these traditions still bring joy to the holiday season or are they a burden? Consider crossing one or two off your list to help reduce your stress level.

3) Do a "Secret Santa" with your extended family.
Does your Uncle Bob really need five new knick-knacks for his house? Chances are, you don't either. With the adults in your family, do a "Secret Santa" where you draw names and each buy a gift for one person. You still have the fun of both choosing and opening a present but your budget and your shopping list will thank you.

4) Do pot-luck dinners.
No one person should have the burden of holiday cooking. If everyone brings a dish, no one will be stuck in the kitchen and everyone can enjoy the occasion.

5) Accept your family's imperfections.
As much as we want our families to be perfect, they are not. We seem to be able to accept that the other 364 days of the year, but on Christmas we have higher standards. Chances are, your children will continue to aggravate each other, be somewhat disheveled, and not have perfect table manners. If you are celebrating with your own parents and siblings or in-laws, additional issues may arise. Celebrate the joy of simply being together rather than concentrating on what is not right in the picture.

About the Author:
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of Spiritual Woman Newsletter and author of Letters to Mary from a Young Mother.
© Spiritual Woman Press, 2006. All rights reserved.