4 Ways A Dad Can Make This Christmas Less Stressful For Their Family

Sing along with me…It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Have you ever paid attention to some of the lines you sing after this famous line? Well, here are two lines that come after it…

  • With the kids jingle belling…
  • There’ll be much mistletoeing…

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t exactly call what my kids do in December “jingle belling.” Maybe asking, begging, reminding.
And “much mistletoeing.” Who has time for that? There are too many parties, get-togethers, errands to run, things to do…and not enough time for fun things like mistletoeing with my wife.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The music. The decorations. The lights. The family time. The gifts. Yes, it’s okay to like gifts.
But, have you noticed, the stress level rises every December? Of course, you have! You’re probably feeling it now.
There is something you can do about it. Here are four ways to have a less stressful Christmas…

  1. Happy Wife Happy Life

Reducing your wife’s stress will reduce your stress. So figure out who and what causes stress for her…and run interference. Help your wife do whatever she needs to do. Buffer her from that family member that causes her stress. When your wife is less stressed, your family will be less stressed.

  1. More Margin

Why does the Christmas season feel more stressful? You have less margin (free space) in your schedule, finances, energy, etc. Less margin equals more stress.
This Christmas, tell your time what to do. Don’t let others tell your time what to do. Choose to do less. Don’t say yes to every invitation you receive. They’ll still be your friends after the holidays. Stay home more. Play games. Watch a movie. Talk.
Tell your money what to do. Yes, we all spend more money in December. But this year, spend less. Create more financial margin than you normally have in December.
Tell your energy what to do. This has a lot to do with time, but it also has a lot to do with those healthy habits you have the other 11 months of the year. Keep exercising. Keep reading. Keep eating well. Even in December.
Less stress is all about having more margin in the important areas of your life.

  1. Have More Fun

Christmas makes having fun easy. There’s no school. You can take time off of work. To have fun, you have to make time to have fun. Play with your child. Do something fun with just your wife. Just for the sake of fun.
When you’re planning fun, make sure it’s fun for your child and/or wife. Do something they enjoy. Do something that will make them smile and laugh.
And keep it easy and inexpensive. That will help you have more fun with them.

  1. Focus On Meaning More Than Stuff

Meaning happens when you’re around people. So care more about people than stuff. Sounds easy. But this will take some effort and intentionality.
More margin and more fun will create meaningful moments for your family. Meaningful moments happen in the context of relationships. Stuff will be forgotten. Time with your child or your wife will be remembered.
Meaningful moments will also happen when you spend some time focused on Jesus. Go to church. Talk to God. Talk about Jesus. This Christmas will be different when you focus more on Jesus.

Casey Ross has been married to Julie for over 20 years and is the dad to one daughter and two sons. Casey and his family share some common loves: the Atlanta Falcons / United / Hawks, Mexican food, Hilton Head Island, and just about any kind of competition. Julie and Casey mentor engaged couples, lead married small groups, and lead small groups called Starting Point at their church. If Casey is not at home or work, you can probably find him at Chick fil A enjoying a Frosted Coffee and a Diet Dr Pepper or working out.
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