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Help! I'm already in Christmas Panic Mode!

It’s not even Dec 1 and I’m already in panic mode over Christmas.

It’s not even Dec 1 and I’m already in panic mode over Christmas. My calendar is
double booked, I haven’t kept up with the Christmas gift list enough to know
what I’ve already bought and what I haven’t, and the Christmas tree stand is
broke. What happened to all my organizational planning and lists and good
intentions (that I came up with after last year’s chaotic Christmas season) to
make this the best stress-free, Jesus is the reason for the season, Christmas
ever?

Every year I intend to start early with my Christmas shopping, but it’s hard to think Christmas in the springtime or even the summer, for that matter. Besides, my kids’ Christmas list in May will not be the same one they submit in November. I even created a calendar with dates to purchase all the extras needed for the
holiday season: plastic and paper products in September; canned good items in
October; baking ingredients in November. But a lot of good any of it did me. I
found I first had to remember that I made the list, and second, remember where
I put the list, besides remembering to think about Christmas…in August. I pride
myself in being a highly organized person, and really I am, but it’s the implementation that gets me messed up every time. So, here I am…again…the week after Thanksgiving thinking about the buying and wrapping of gifts, all the baking and decorating that needs to be done, looking at all the activities on the
calendar, and wondering how it’s all going to get done.

My church does an annual event called Advent by Candlelight at the beginning of
December. It’s a ladies affair with beautifully decorated tables, fabulous
desserts, Christmas music and candlelight. It’s designed to bring the focus of
the season back to the birth of Jesus, to prepare our hearts and minds to look
with anticipation upon the gift that God has given to us.  I think that’s the key to my dilemma of making this the best Christmas ever and enjoying the process. No matter what I have to do, want to do, need to do, I must keep Jesus at the heart of it. And how do I do that? One day at a time, from the beginning through to the ending, acknowledging the gift I have in Jesus, and tackling my to-do list with a
grateful heart and an eye to the needs of others. And, by the way, a little
organization does help to lower the stress factor.

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