The song may tell us “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but for too many it’s the most stressful time. It’s not those special days that cause stress; it’s how we choose to respond to them.

Most people add responsibilities and commitments to an already full schedule with very negative results ranging from insomnia to depression for you and other members of the family. Worse yet, the true meaning of the holiday is often times lost in the rat race. It’s time to take a look at the causes and cures for the Holi-DAZE!

Cause 1: Competition
The desire to host the BEST party, choose the BEST gifts for your loved ones, have the BEST décor for the Christmas season.

The Cure?
Relax! It is your choice whether or not you compete. Remember the Reason for the Season.

Cause 2: Difficulty saying “No.”
You are asked to direct the church Christmas program and you say “yes.”  Oh, and did they mention you will need to sew a few costumes?  You agree to make cookies for the PTA holiday meeting – 16 dozen.  The list goes on & on – all good things – good things that demand your time.

The Cure?
Remember this true statement: When you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. Often the “yes” to something “good” means a “no” to something better.

Cause 3: Perfectionism
Making cookies isn’t enough. They must be the gourmet ones you recently saw on the food network.  You know, the ones that not only require exotic ingredients, but require hours of work to prepare a very small batch.

The Cure?
The key is simply to lower your expectations; slice and bakes will probably be more than adequate. And if it fits into your budget, feel free to have the local bakery do the job.

Cause 4: Using the holidays as an excuse to get things done.
This can put stress on you and on your husband if a job or two, or twenty-two has been added to the Honey-Do List.

The Cure?
If the job involves your husband you’ll need to have a discussion (an adult one) to determine if you will be able to solicit his help.  Too many times this stressor is actually a thinly cloaked form of manipulation.  (Yikes! It has always been one of my favorites.)

Cause 5: Determining you’re too busy for your daily Quiet Time with the Lord.
You have such a long To-Do list you decide to spend twice as long in the Word tomorrow.  But then tomorrow comes and your list has grown longer than the one you had the day before. Now what?

The Cure?
Remember what is really important.  Remember who is with you every moment of the day. Remember who asked you to “Cast on your cares on Him.” Take a little extra time to be certain your focus is on what really matters!

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