Can I say it NOW?

I decided to do an Internet search for “Christmas stress” and to my amazement a page full of sites came up and at the top it said 143,000,000 results! Guess I should have figured someone besides me had something to say about it, I just didn’t expect it to be that many! I hit a site that I felt would have the most honest and simple answer, The Health Channel site! Here is the summary at the top of their page under “Christmas can be stressful”, it said concisely what I was thinking: “Christmas can be a stressful and depressing time for many people. Financial and time pressures, isolation, family tensions, separation and divorce, bereavement, becoming a step-family, or just reflecting on another year gone by can all undermine the Christmas spirit.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

So my question is, why do we do this to ourselves? I wrote a piece about giving yourself permission to say no or to do what you want to do instead of what you are pressured to do. I had a great response from people said, “Thank you for that, I needed to hear it from someone else!” Glad to be of service, it is something I have to live with myself. Growing up in the home of the pastor of a congregation everyone expected my parents to be at every single gathering, see every program, visit all the sick or shut-ins, make sure all the families in church that needed help for the holidays had food and toys and somehow they generally pulled it off.

Christmas time should be a time of sweet memories because you never know who will be missing from your table next year, and making new memories for those around you especially the children. At some point during the holidays sing Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and the First Noel and while you do remember the Son of God and how He gave His life to us, first in the manger and then on a cross. Feel the love I am sending out to you as I feel it is finally the time I can legitimately say, Merry Christmas!

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