Is Christmas anxiety a real thing? Hummmm, yes, unless you’re a man.
Seriously though. This is a quick post today as I’m working on getting a download of the “Finding Your More” out on all the retail online bookstores, and I’m running into trouble. My more is getting to be too much more. I’m feeling a little anxious although I know I will figure it out eventually. Plus, there’s the Christmas book. I’ve just come up with an interesting twist and now have to make sure it works. And all of this reminds me of a conversation I had with my best friend yesterday.
She is feeling extremely anxious because she feels she’s way behind in her Christmas projects. I reminded her it wasn’t even the end of October yet! But I get it. I used to be the same way, but not so much anymore. If you suffer from omg-I’ll-never-get-it-all-done-for-Christmas anxiety, you are not alone. Every woman I know does.
I could remind you that Christmas isn’t about gifts. I could remind you to bring it to God. But most of you know all this anyway, so I’m going to suggest something else entirely. I’m going to suggest you take yourself and your anxiety in hand and make a list. No, not necessarily a to-do list.
How to handle Christmas Anxiety
I suggest you make a kind of spreadsheet. I say kind of because it only has to work for you. I’m not talking about an Excel spreadsheet. Just some paper and some columns. Write down the names of each person you plan to either buy a gift for or make a gift for. In another column write down what gifts you have to buy for whom, the amount, where you will buy them, and when you will buy them. That part is kind of easy.
But it’s the making-gifts part that gets a little tricky. Again, have a column that lists all the supplies you need, what you need to buy and when you will buy them. Add another column if you need to organize them. A column that indicates how long you estimate it will take you.
Finally, if you plan on entertaining, you need another schedule altogether with columns for menus, housekeeping tasks, items to buy, etc.
I would think this kind of spreadsheet would be in three parts, the gift-giving part, the gift-making part, and then the entertaining part. If I have time, I will try to come up with something I can show you and you can use it as a jumping-off place. But, guess what? It isn’t how you design your spreadsheet, it’s the doing of it.
I think once we write things down and see it all laid out in front of us, one of two things will happen. We will either realize that, wow, we’ve bitten off way too much (often me), OR it’s not as bad as we think. With my friend, it was thinking about it that was the problem. She let her mind go where it shouldn’t and she suffered severe anxiety.
Christmas CAN be anxiety-free
I don’t know about you but I intend to enjoy my Christmas season. I want to enjoy making the crafts, baking the cookies, and entertaining. I’m at a place in my life where I want MORE alright, more calm, more peace, and more purpose. For me, that comes from planning. Sure, we can plan and still not get it all done but at least with a plan we have a better chance.
God had a plan
When I read Scripture and see how God planned out creation, how Christ planned where he would go and when, that planning is a spiritual activity as well as a practical one. In light of what I just wrote, last night I started organizing all my crafting supplies. They were scattered throughout the house. I did that because it reduces my anxiety. I find clutter a huge anxiety producer.
Anyway, I think my friend is doing. better today. How about you? How much anxiety do you feel at Christmas? How do you handle it? Do lists work for you? I would love to hear what you think.
God bless and I hope this helped.