You can experience peace instead of stress during the busy holiday season – and that will help you enjoy Christmas wonder. Celebrating the birth of Jesus should be a peaceful experience. After all, he is the Prince of Peace, and when the angels announced his birth to the shepherds, they emphasized peace on Earth. This year, I challenge you to do less to experience more. Dare to let go of activities that are no longer fun or meaningful for you.
When my son was born around Christmas, I stopped a holiday activity I had previously devoted many hours to: writing and sending Christmas cards. I felt guilty at first that I was too busy that year to send elaborate cards to a long list of friends and family, complete with handwritten messages, photos, and an annual Christmas letter. As much as I loved my friends and family, though, I never actually enjoyed doing Christmas cards. It felt like a chore, but I pressured myself into it year after year, thinking that I was somehow obligated to do so. After I had to stop one year, I discovered that the people on my list didn’t seem to miss my cards. We kept in touch in other ways, such as visits, phone calls, and emails. All the time I’d spent laboring over cards became free time in my schedule, and with more free time, I noticed much more wonder around me. That was years ago, and now I can say without any guilt that I’ve given up Christmas cards permanently.
What can you let go of this Christmas to make more space in your life for wonder? Don’t hesitate to free up your schedule to pursue more awe during this especially wonderful time of the year. See the “Manage Stress Well” chapter in Wake Up to Wonder for ideas to help you experience more peace that leads to awe, such as taking regular wonder breaks.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Christmas full of wonder and joy!