Is a peaceful holiday even attainable these days? Is contentment attainable? To me, being content means feeling true inner peace. As Christians, we know that true peace is only attainable through our savior Jesus Christ. I know that the holiday season poses a hurdle for peace or contentment, especially with the high expectations that many of us moms put on ourselves to deliver the perfect holiday season.
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The Key to Peace in the Busy Holiday Season
We fill our time with all of the preparation, decorating, planning, and shopping. The stress seeps in earlier and earlier every single year. This year I saw some stores preparing before the Halloween decorations were even put away. It’s only the second week in November, yet I’m already getting Black Friday deals and promotions.
So, I wonder, why do we put ourselves through all of this? The exhaustion, the stress, the business? The answer is easy. We do it to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And when you strip out all of the tinsel and lights and meditate on, “the reason for the season,” it’s easy to find that contentment we all yearn for. Jesus is of course the Prince of Peace.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9:6 ESV
Our Lord’s birth is a beautiful reminder to each of us. A reminder that God sent His only son to save us from our sins and to give us all the most amazing gift of all - eternal life. It’s easy for me to reflect on this beautiful truth as I sit alone in my bedroom and ponder the holiday season. But I’m not so naive to think that I will be able to hold onto this peace as I leave my safe space and get inundated with the noise of the outside world.
I also have two young boys who know that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’s birthday, but they also have dreams of “sugarplums” dancing in their heads as they think about Santa dropping off all of the most wonderful toys. They will also be looking for all the yummy cookies with frosting and extra sprinkles, and of course, they will be watching out for their “elf on the shelf,” so he doesn’t catch them doing anything naughty. They wouldn’t want to sacrifice any of those wonderful presents under the tree.
A peaceful holiday may look different to a child, then an adult.
So, how do we balance it all? How do we hold onto our peace? How do we have that peaceful holiday? How do drown out the noise and business of the season and keep our eyes focused on Jesus? I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but I do think it’s worth it, and here’s what I’ve come up with. I’m planning on having intention and releasing all expectations of the “perfect” holiday. I’m going to take pictures without the intent of sharing on every social media channel and I’m going to be OK if my tree doesn’t look like all the other perfect ones on Pinterest.
Instead of focusing on the next big sale, I’m going to try and replace those thoughts for the greatest gift that we all received from Christmas - Jesus.
I also plan to have some tactical “tools” in my toolbox that I’m hoping will help me with my intentions and I hope they will help you too!
Five ways to keep your peace throughout the holiday season!
- Participate in a bible study or go through a Christmas devotional. This year I’m doing the Advent study from Lifeway Women, and it’s already been so life giving and I’m only five days in. By committing to this study, I’ve been able to hold my intention and attention on Jesus. This is always my top recommendation for a peaceful holiday.
- Do something for yourself. Take one day to spend some time alone. Maybe it’s by watching your favorite Christmas movie, or it’s baking your favorite cookies while listening to some awesome Christmas music, or maybe it’s taking a nap. Whatever it is - try to do something to fill your own cup up before you try to fill everyone else’s.
- Be intentional with the words you use with your kiddos. When I talk about Christmas with my kiddos instead of saying Christmas over and over, I replace it with Jesus’s birthday! This helps all of us keep our eyes directly on Jesus.
- Instead of doing everything - I’m creating intentional traditions for my family. Some of my favorites include:
- Gingerbread making/cookie day.
- Tree trimming with holiday music and popcorn.
- Holiday lights tour with hot cocoa
- Instead of buying everything I’m following the four-gift rule: something you need, something you read, something you wear, and something you want.
- Creating a paper chain counting down the days to Christmas but putting a special scripture on each day to remind all of us, “the reason for the season.”
- Finally, no more comparison. Jesus made us and our families the exact way he wanted us. Let’s lean into that. Let’s celebrate Him the exact way He created us to be.
As we walk into this holiday season, I pray that all of us can keep our eyes on the reason for the season. I pray for peace, contentment, and happiness for you and your family. Remember we’re all celebrating the Prince of Peace. Merry Christmas! Enjoy your peaceful holiday!
A Little Bit More About Jenna
Hi my name is Jenna Allerson and I am a home-grown Minnesota girl. I love Jesus, my family, country music, coffee, and being outdoors.
I’m a wife to my college sweetheart, Matt. In 2019, we will be celebrating our ninth anniversary. We have two adorable boys (I know mom’s all say that!) Owen (4) and August (2), and a fur baby Lucy. I’m a full-time working mom and lifestyle blogger at jennaallerson.com