Celebrating the Holidays

By Mitch Temple
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Holiday Stress

While “dashing through the snow” could be written today as “speeding down the interstate to the mall,” both statements sound stressful to me.

With the arrival of the holidays, many of us experience an odd mixture of excitement and dread as we prepare to celebrate the season.

We get excited about the lights, shopping and Christmas dinner with family, but we also fear the stress that past holidays have taught us to expect. From previous family misunderstandings and hurt feelings to scheduling conflicts, tight finances and the wear and tear on the body, holidays have a way of taking their toll on us.

I have found that the best way to lessen the stress of the holidays is to be prepared:

  1. Recognize stress triggers ahead of time, and plan to minimize their impact. For example: Realize that you will get several invitations to holiday parties, events or service opportunities, and limit the number of events you will commit to before the invitations come.
  2. Create a holiday budget together. Commit to sticking to the budget no matter how great the sales are!
  3. Try to resolve extended family issues before holiday gatherings, if possible. Sit down and discuss the problems rather than ignore them.
  4. Commit to dealing with spousal conflict after the emotion has died down: “Honey, we are both tired. Let’s not try to solve this now. Let’s talk in the morning over coffee.” Use common sense, and be disciplined enough to handle conflict in the right way.
  5. Schedule time for each other: Go to bed at a decent hour. Exercise or take a walk together. Protect your “together” time.

Most of all, remember what this time of year is all about: “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people… a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11, NIV).

That is a great reason to slow down, be thankful and be at peace this Christmas season. As you prepare for your upcoming activities, we hope that the following series of articles will help you stress less and enjoy that peace more fully.

Copyright © 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Mitch Temple

Mitch Temple (LMFT, M.S., M.S.) holds graduate degrees in counseling and marriage/family therapy from Amridge University. He served as a pulpit and counseling pastor, specializing in crisis, business and marriage- and family-related issues.  Mitch is the author or co-author of five books, including The Marriage Turnaround.  He is also published author in various professional journals.  Mitch and his wife Rhonda …

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.