Holiday Trimming Needed


*In the spirit of trying to follow my own advice below, I’m featuring an encore post from December 2009. It’s as much needed today as it was then. Hope you enjoy!

Anybody 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

*How can you give yourself a break this year and trim a few things from your to-do list?

*Have you thrown your name in the hat for my “Little Christmas Warmth Giveaway” yet? Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. (CST) Wednesday!

*Flickr photo by John Curnow, Creative Commons License


  1. Hi Cheryl,

    I like your alliteration here of “trimming the to-do list” plus it’s good truth. I decided this year out of the blue to not send out a Christmas letter this year. It just sounded more relaxing not to do it, this year, which is unusual for me, but I’m listening. :)

    We’re choosing a calm, relaxed Christmas, and enjoying it. We drank egg nog and enjoyed putting up our tree this last Saturday, and we are pretty laid back on other things.

    Savoring this time too,
    Jennifer Dougan

    • Jennifer, that’s great that you’re finding some ways to have a more relaxed Christmas this year. Life has been extremely busy for me lately so once again I feel like I’m scurrying to do the things I want to do for Christmas.

      Still, though, I am enjoying moments of Christmas worship and reflection as well as other Christmasy moments. Really enjoyed listening to Christmas music yesterday while sitting and getting a start on my cards and also on Saturday while making our birthday cake for Jesus to go in the freezer. I’m also making a point to keep our schedule as free as possible since I need to be ready by the 20th for family’s arrival. I have a couple of days before then that I need to be out of town, too, so things aren’t as relaxed as I’d like! :)

      Many blessings to you and yours this season!

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