I have 8 Amish books out at this point – and 8 more contracted to release over the next 3 years. Two of those books are about Christmas – specifically how the Amish celebrate Christmas, and how they deal with the normal ups and downs of life during this holiday season.
You could say I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching and visiting with Amish folk. I’m hoping some of that good common sense rubs off on me. But just when I think I’m getting a good grasp of how to simplify my holiday season, I have a day that completely unravels. I start feeling anxious about the wrong things. I become overwhelmed.
Probably that happens to Amish women as well. Maybe not as often though. So I thought I’d take a moment today to remind myself (and maybe you) of some of the ways we can enjoy the season rather than endure the season. Of some ways to nurture a SIMPLE Christmas:
- Focus on people, not things. If someone calls or comes to visit–put aside your deadlines or to-do lists and enjoy the person you’re with.
- Stop looking for the “perfect” gift. Most of the time, there isn’t one. Instead, try to think of what would bring a smile to the face of the person you love.
- Relax. It’s kind of hard to do sometimes. Often we have tight shoulders, aching heads, and an anxious spirit. Focus on relaxing and allowing the joy of Christ to fill your soul.
- Ease up on the decorating. I love Christmas decorations. We put up our little 4 foot tree last night. But I did NOT try to put out all the decorations I have stored. It exhausted me to think about it. A small tree, garland on the mantle, and a wreath on the door are enough for this year.
- Read the story of the Christ child. You can find it in all 4 of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), as well as references in Isaiah. Take a few moments to settle down and let these words sink into your soul.
I love Christmas, and I hope — this year — to find ways to allow the peace of Christ rule in my heart and my home.
ps – I posted a new contest last week–Christmas Contest #4. You can enter here.