Holiday Trimming

4206456664_e6d530c4a1_zAnybody else ever have a moment of panic when the holiday season arrives? Mine happened just the other day when I turned my calendar to December and saw several extras already scheduled in a month where tasks and must-do traditions always seem to outweigh available time.

Somehow I know I’m not alone in my sudden case of H.P.I. — otherwise known as holiday panic interruptus. It’s a tricky condition. Sneaks up on you and grabs you by the throat when you least expect it, flashing everything you need to do in the next 30 days in front of your eyes in the span of five seconds. It steals your joy and interrupts your holiday peace faster than Christmas elves sliding down candy cane poles during a midnight toymaking drill.

My holiday conclusion? The Christmas tree isn’t the only thing that needs to be trimmed this year. The cure? Immediate evaluation and trimming of the December to-do list coupled with a guarded approach to saying “yes” to anything more. Anyone else need to follow this sage advice I’m trying to give myself?

In this season of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” brought to us by the Prince of Peace Himself, let’s not let anything rob us of the fullness of joy He longs to give to us this Christmas. Like Mary did in choosing to sit at Jesus’ feet instead of stressing over details like Martha (Luke 10:38-42), let’s choose what is better and experience His peace. Let’s do some holiday trimming.

“‘The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'” John 10:10

*Flickr photo by John Curnow, Creative Commons License


  1. I love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, as well as the quiet times. I look forward to all the things December brings – shopping, decorating, baking, Advent readings, looking at Christmas lights, listening to and playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, sending Christmas cards (or maybe this year, a Christmas letter!), finishing up my hectic work schedule, and spending time with family – even when it means 3 states in 4 days at Christmas! I enjoy each moment of the Christmas season, no matter how busy it gets. For me, it is a time to really think about Jesus’ amazing love for us, and to enjoy the beauty and joy of Christmas, and all that the season means to me!

  2. I love how you love Christmas, Kristin. I do, too — just not as good as you at handling the hustle and bustle without getting kind of stressed. I guess each of us knows just how much we can do and still maintain our joy and peace. Looking forward to our days together at Christmas!

  3. I love the Christmas season. After years of simplifying my activities and aligning my attitude toward Jesus, I am finally thoroughly looking forward to the coming weeks.

    Here’s praying your HPIs are kept to a minimum!

  4. This is so true. Simplifying really does trim out all the extra stuff and give us time for what is really important!

  5. I’ve been saying no right and left it seems. I’m on Amazon tonight trying to finish up some things. Want to complete some things, so I can enjoy the rest of my season.

    Trimming away…


  6. Constant battle for me to simplify and had actually been thinking about this recently. What makes it harder is thinking about all the “good” things I would like to do. I think all of the commercialization makes it harder. I try to remind myself “what would be most pleasing to Jesus”. It is his birthday after all.

  7. Debbie, I pray God’s leading for you as you try to simplify. I know what you mean about how it can be a constant battle. It’s hard to say “no”, that’s for sure.

    To all, God bless you with a joyful — and a peaceful — Christmas season!

  8. Cherly, that was a very timely post. Sometimes we can get so caught up in creating the perfect Christmas that we miss the most perfect part of it!

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