It is no secret that we are going through tough economic times. One poll said that 3 out 4 Americans are either scared, stressed or angry. These tough economic times can make the holiday season even more stressful. With Christmas right around the corner, for many, this time of the season will not be jolly with holly, but will be depressing because they will be stressing. It will be filled with anxiety for many because they know that this time of the year means shopping in crowded stores, entertaining family (especially ones we don’t particularly like), spending money they don’t have, going deeper and deeper into debt, going to company parties and mingling with people they don’t know, but pretending to have a good time, spending time at “split dinners” with parents who have gotten divorced and are now remarried, or being alone. Although this time of the year can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. So, I have prepared some “soul tips” to help you relieve some stress and make it a joy-filled holiday season for you and your family. These are not ordered according to importance. Feel free to add to this list and write me back.
1. Accept God’s grace. Our souls are stressed when we feel like we have to give gifts and show up for parties in order to be accepted by people.
2. Go to worship. Infuse your soul with joy by acknowledging God’s Son, Jesus
3. Stick to your budget. Don’t spend what you don’t have.
4. Mend broken or severely strained relationships. Forgiveness sets our souls free.
5. Start your own family holiday traditions.
6. Pay cash/limit your use of your credit card. There is nothing more stressful on your soul than carrying holiday debt into the new year. By God’s grace and a whole lot of discipline, we have committed to paying cash for our holidays.
7. Resist the urge and need to compete with others. If someone buys you a gift, don’t feel guilty because you didn’t buy them anything. You don’t have to run out and spend money that was not budgeted to purchase a gift for someone just because they bought you a gift. Accept their gift graciously.
8. Make a list. Make a list for your dinners and your gifts. A list has a way of curbing our appetite to spend more than we have and it gives us a sense of accomplishment.
9. Be generous. If you want to energize your soul and the soul of others, give and give generously to others.
10. Avoid overeating . Don’t go to holiday dinners and parties hungry.
11. Do some creative gift giving . White elephant parties are inexpensive and lots of fun.
12. Make a gift for your loved ones.
13. Spend quality time with your family.
14. Watch your favorite movie together. Night at the Museum is one of our favorites.
15. Invite friends over for breakfast/brunch and games.
16. Teach your kids generosity by encouraging them buy a gift for someone in need.
17. Buy Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner for someone in need.
18. Agree on a gift limit for each other and play according to the rules.
19. If you must drink, limit your consumption of the “holiday cheer.” If per chance you have too much of the cheer, be sure to have a designated driver to drive you home.
20. Write a love letter to each one of your family members.
21. Start early. Don’t stress yourself out with last minute and thoughtless shopping.
22. Give your spouse or your significant other your wish list. Don’t torture him/her by making him/her guess what you want.
23. Avoid the “same as cash” advertisements. The stores are anticipating you will not pay your balance off in the stipulated time and they will enjoy charging you the accrued interest.
24. Give the gift of paying on or paying off the consumer debt of a family member or friend.
25. Make a gratitude list. Focus on all the things for which you are grateful – home, family, friendships, health, job, church family, etc.
26. Exercise. It has been clinically proven that regular exercise reduces stress in our lives. So, walk, run, spin, lift, or ride.
Popularity: 15% [?]