I Love Jesus, But I Hate Christmas
The most magical time of year? Not exactly.
Now before you go and blast me on social media or unfollow and delete me Let me explain….
So, I just left therapy, and the place was packed… Seemingly this is their busiest time of year, but I bet you’re not surprised. The holidays can put even the sanest person over the edge!
There are about a million things to do that the pressure of the holiday season mounts up even before the Halloween candy is gone.
When I was little, like most of us, Christmas was my favorite time of year. It was magical… But as an adult, well, I realize it’s an insane amount of work and loads of unnecessary stress!
Why do we feel this? And what can we do about it? Keep reading…
- You have to decorate your house so astronauts can see if from space
- You have to buy gifts for everyone you’ve ever met.
- You have to wrap and ship all the gifts
- You have to warm up your Amex
- You have to be surrounded by food
- You have to do all the MUST-SEE Christmas activities
- You have to see (and be seen) at over-the-top Christmas parties
- You have all the Cooking, Cleaning, and Baking
- You have to (often) travel for the holidays
- You have the Family Drama
- The Wrap – Hate Christmas
You have to decorate your house so astronauts can see if from space
Let’s be honest about this one. If you don’t have your house decked out with everything short of Clark Griswold’s home by Thanksgiving weekend, you might as well send an apology note to your Home Owners Association.
And let me be the first to say I suck at this!! My husband and I have been married for 15 years, and this is the first year that we have a tree (no joke!) …..and stockings, and a holiday wreath on the door. (Maybe next year we’ll graduate to lights on the house – maybe!)
Yes, we are ‘those people’ in the neighborhood. I’ve learned to let this feeling fade with the black friday sales. Mostly because I’m pretty sure we’ve already been labeled ‘those people’ for other various reasons! (Ask Paul about Jimmy Buffet weekend 2010…)
You have to buy gifts for everyone you’ve ever met.
Ok, not only do you have the pressure to buy a unique and personal gift for everyone on your list, but you have to shop for pretty much anyone you’ve ever met.
- Your waxer – Yep!
- Your UPS delivery guy – yep!
- Your barista – yep!
My advice, stock up on those scented candles ~ everyone seems to love those?? lol!
Don’t get me wrong, giving presents is a lovely and thoughtful gesture, but it’s the obsession with one-upping Christmas gifts between each other that turns us all onto rampant consumerism.
“I don’t need anything.” That is the reply from family and friends when I ask for Christmas gift ideas. No one wants to say, “I want this air fryer.”
Even with the advent of Amazon and online shopping (What did we ever do before? – Omgosh!), this task can be incredibly stressful chasing down ideas, ordering, and ensuring delivery.
You have to wrap and ship all the gifts
This brings me to my next point! Wrapping and shipping ALL the gifts on time is like completing a mini-marathon.
At first, I felt a little guilty for sending my extended family gifts DIRECTLY from Amazon – but seriously, what’s the point of 2-Day Shipping everything to my house, sorting, wrapping, and then paying again to ship? I digress…
If you’re on my list, please excuse my laziness (or efficiency)! 😛
Come to think of it; I don’t think I’ve bought wrapping paper in several years.
Btw, if you’re still struggling with gals on your shopping list, check out 25 INEXPENSIVE GIFTS FOR THE WOMAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING
You have to warm up your Amex
Even if you leverage the magic of Amazon 2-Day Delivery, Christmas is sure to obliterate your bank account. No one seems to talk about this. But what other time of year do you spend thousands of dollars on ‘making spirits bright’?
Say you manage to hit the Black Friday sales (which I totally do!), the holidays can still put a dent in your credit card. Therefore, it makes it a very frugal January and February for most of us… not a fun or exciting start to the new year.
You have to be surrounded by food
Christmas has been the time to eat, drink and be merry since Bing Crosby sang his first note of “White Christmas”.
But this time of year we all forget that we need to still have limits. Too much egg nog, ham, or Christmas sugar cookies can certainly wreak havoc on our health. (And fast!)
We say things to ourselves like, “But it’s Christmas!” or “The diet starts New Year’s Day” – but we’re slowly digging a hole we’ll have to get out.
And again, this makes January oh-so depressing.
You have to do all the MUST-SEE Christmas activities
It’s different wherever you live… but you get it. There are always popular Christmas experiences in your city you feel pressured to hit up in November.
- City-wide Christmas tree lighting
- The Christmas Story play at the local high school
- Visiting Santa at the mall
- The Nativity Scene (with real animals)
- The Nutcracker
- Polar Bear Express Experience at the Gaylord, and the list goes on!
How are you going to fit it all in? (And brag, I mean post on social media about it)
You have to see (and be seen) at over-the-top Christmas parties
Whatever happened to those easy Ugly Sweater parties from the early 2000’s? I know, I’m probably aging myself here, but when did dressing up for holiday parties become such a haul?
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a theme party (a lot!) but adding the pressure of finding the perfect costume AND snagging the best, most hilarious white elephant gift at this time of year can put someone over the edge.
It wasn’t until I got sick that I started not feeling so guilty for missing many events. I had to start prioritizing myself, (Even if it was Christmas!)
You have all the Cooking, Cleaning, and Baking
If you’re someone who loves to create all the beautiful holiday sweets and treats, more power to ya! I’ll be your taste tester 🙂
But often we feel the pressure to put together the perfect meal and goodies just to feel validated like we’re ‘doing it all’. But let me share with you a little secret … you can cut some corners here!
When I was home for Christmas, for YEARS my folks would have a traditional holiday dinner with all the fixings … on Grandma’s china. While the meal was tasty, it meant that all the women spend the next several hour’s HAND WASHING all the dishes. Talk about a waste of quality family time!
Now, we order Mexican! While we haven’t talked my mom into paper plates yet, ordering take out and using everyday dishes is a huge WIN!
You have to (often) travel for the holidays
If you’ve ever had to travel during Christmas, you already know what I’m going to say.
Airports are packed with folks who never usually travel so they can’t seem to figure out how to get through security. (Yes, 3oz bottles are the max carry-on liquid ya’ll!) Not to mention, flights are almost always delayed or canceled due to jack frost bringing over lake-effect snow storms!
Can you tell I’m from Michigan?
This is the first Christmas that the hubs and I will be staying home for the holidays. In our home. With each other. With our little family.
If you don’t have to navigate travels during Christmas, there’s really only one place to be:
In your Christmas Jammies, parked on the sofa, watching all the holiday movies and Netflix.
That’s kinda perfect, don’t you think?
My hubby’s favorite is Home Alone. But I think my holiday favorite to watch is Love Actually. What’s yours? Or, maybe you’re going to binge-watch episodes of Dead to Me the rest of December? (Which btw, is very good!)
You have the Family Drama
Is it even really Christmas if someone doesn’t get into a screaming match at the dinner table? You laugh, but this time of year stirs up all the drama and underlying issues from the year.
While families come in all different varieties, Christmas is guaranteed to test even the strongest of bonds.
Even just before and after the holidays, anticipating (or, afterward, processing) spending time with them can stress you out.
The Wrap – Hate Christmas
Perhaps you think I’m cynical or a grinch? But as a Christian, I want to love Christmas time. (I really do!) But the gift-upping, materialistic, consumer-driven aspect of Christmas — pulls at me (And likely does for you too!)
No matter how long your to-do list is this year, or how much stress mounts with family & travel woes — at the heart, remembering to love Jesus is the most important thing of all. He’s the Reason for the Season…
That’s what I’m focusing on – and let me tell you, it’s making all the difference! I’m leaning into the holiday spirit more and enjoying life much more.
I know this time of year hits everyone differently. But no matter where you’re at, I pray you find some true magic this season.
And most importantly, you simply meet yourself where you are.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:10-11