Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Having Fun in the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be fun. There are decorations, and gatherings, and parties, and great meals, and spending time with family. What could be more fun than this?
But the truth is, for many people, the holidays are anything but fun. The decorations mean work (taking down what normally is out, and putting up new decorations). The parties and family gatherings mean spending money for the food, and extra time to get everything ready and cooked. Then there is the shopping for a Christmas tree, and Christmas cards, and presents. Then there is the decorating the tree and wrapping the presents. Holidays can turn into an abundance of work and added busyness. Does this sound like fun?
Another aspect that can make holidays difficult is thinking about the loss of a loved one. Usually during holidays the grief of a lost loved one intensifies. Instead of the holiday bringing joy, it is a reminder that this loved one is no longer there in your life. I was talking to a friend this week, and she was saying how Thanksgiving was going to be hard because her husband (who is working in another country) will not be able to be with them, and she won't be going to see her family (who live in another state). Holidays are not fun for everyone.
So how can we have fun in the holidays? Here's my opinion: don't take the holidays too seriously. What I mean by this is don't work so hard to get the "right" Christmas gift. Don't take hours to do the shopping. Only decorate in a way that will bless you, not make life overwhelming (especially if you don't like the work it takes to decorate). Schedule time with family and friends in a way that will be a blessing to you. If you belong to a church, then you have a "church family" on top of your regular family. Schedule in time with those you love to be with. Don't over schedule. Learn how to say "no" to those things that burden you. Call a friend when you are feeling "down."
Psalm 16:11 tells us, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
Hopefully, by bringing into your life people you love, and limiting the extra "work" that holidays can bring, and letting God's presence bless you, you will have fun in this holiday season. Blessings.