The Secret to Holiday Peace

29 Nov

Ahhhh the holidays! A magical time of the year filled with sparkle, zeal, and…frustration! When I worked in mental health it was a known fact that the “crazy people” got even crazier during the holidays and that suicide rates also tend to increase during this time of year (So not P.C. for me to call them crazy, but it’s my blog). Why? Because everyone is stressed out! Parents worry about getting their kids the toys they want while at the same time juggling the already past due bills. Kids get upset if their parents can’t or refuse to get them everything they wish. Unemployed people feel the weight of their lack of finances. Married people struggle with holiday plans and relatives. Single people abhor the thought of spending one more Christmas/New Year alone or being asked that silly, redundant question that no one has the answer to, “Why aren’t you married yet?” Everyone is frustrated and very few have enough peace to actually enjoy any of the beauty that takes place at the end of every year.

I love this time of year. Trees, front porches, and plastic figurines adored with multicolored lights pierce the black of night; Christmas carols flow from the speakers of stereo into homes and businesses, changing the mood of even the most melancholy person; faces are filled with delight as they unwrap gift given from the heart. Who wouldn’t love this time of year?

But sadly, I have to admit that although this is “the most wonderful time of the year” that I too find myself walking on the tightrope between Christmas bliss and emotional misery. The stress, frustration, and finally depression sets in as we began to look around and realize all that we don’t have; evaluating what’s missing from our lives. Rather it be materialistic items, dreams deferred, health, or family, we often feel overwhelmed by the absence of what we believe we need to have in order to feel complete. The holidays, although cheery and packed with hope, have a funny way of reminding us of everything that we are not.

But this year, this Christmas, this New Year’s, and every holiday that follows, you can change your perspective and finally have the energy you’ve been desiring your whole life. The key to holiday bliss is peace. Peace is that place where all is quiet regardless of the noise around you; where all is okay even when the storm is upon you. Peace is the required destination if you wish to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The secret to holiday peace is simple: switching your focus from what you don’t have to what you do. God, in all of His greatness makes sure that no matter how much we lack, there is always something we have. You have family, a roof over your head, a special talent or gift, good friends, something to eat, beautiful children – SOMETHING! We all have something; we may not have everything, but we are not completely without a thing. By shifting your focus to what you do have and learning to appreciate it, you not only find a reason to smile despite any adversity, but you also demonstrate to God that you trust Him with your life, opening the door to future blessings because now He can trust you too.

In this unpredictable world and limited life, I want to enjoy what I have. I want my Christmases to be filled with love and my New Years’ to be overflowing with gratitude. This only happens when I embrace peace by submitting to where I am. Where are you and what do you have to be thankful for? Rest in this and open yourself up to the gift of peace. It’s so much better than living in frustration…

2 Responses to “The Secret to Holiday Peace”

  1. Carmen Calhoun November 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    A’ndrea this was very Powerful. I’m changing my thinking. (Imagine me singing) I’ve got SOMETHING, to thank the Lord for! I’ve got something, hallelujah (the tears are welling up in my eyes) I’ve got something THANK YOU JESUS!

  2. Abigail-Madison Chase December 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    My focus this year is right here in your blog the things that really matter. I know it’s not somthing to celebrate but the greatest thing I have this year is calbe. Of course I have the kids but cable is a simple thing but I rejoice that I have it. Great Blog

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