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As we are amid the holiday season, we should think about how we could best bless and support our spouse during this time. Although this is a wonderful time of year, Christmas can be a stressful season for some. The question for us is: How can we make this a sweet time of celebrating the birth of Christ and enjoying our family?

The volume of activities and obligations of the holiday season can make it hard to truly enjoy any of them. Christmas cards, gifts, decorations, trees, and baking are crammed into about a month period. We buy more, get more, and decorate more in these weeks than we do the rest of the year. So, how do we keep the volume of “more” activities from drowning out the blessings of celebrating Christ’s birth?

Don’t Overcommit.

First, as much as possible, we need to limit our to-do list so we don’t become overwhelmed. Being too ambitious in decorations, gifts, and other activities makes it virtually impossible to live joyfully and at peace. You may have to miss a party you’d like to attend, offend a family member by not going to an event, decorate less than you’d like, or maybe not send out Christmas cards this year. It will be worth it. The most important thing is keeping our eyes on Christ and enjoying each other.

Slow Down and Enjoy the Moment.

God desires us to richly enjoy the created things, and to allow our enjoyment of those things to lead us to worship the Creator. Slow down and savor the event of getting a Christmas tree as a family. When placing the ornaments on your tree, consider pausing and remembering the origin or giver of the ornament. You may even have your own childhood ornaments that you place on your tree! If you hurry through all the activities of Christmas, you will err by failing to richly enjoy this special season.

Don’t Be “Mr. or Mrs. Christian Scrooge.”

We all have differing attitudes about Santa, gifts, decorations, trees, etc. Don’t be the theological killjoy that over-analyzes everything. Make your focus on loving others, not criticizing the way they do things. You should stick to your convictions but not exhibit negative attitudes toward the convictions of others. I haven’t found debates centering around Santa and reindeer to be the ones that draw me deeper into worship or celebration.

Be a Spouse Booster.

Make sure to love your spouse well this season.  It is easy for one partner to have a mental image of what a “Merry Christmas” looks like and exhaust themselves trying to make it a perfect season for everyone in the family… except themselves. Ask questions like, “How can I help?” or “What can I take off your to-do list?” on a regular basis.

Establish Christ-Focused Christmas Eve and Morning Traditions.

I suggest watching the movie The Nativity the night before Christmas and reading Luke 2 before any gifts are opened. You could also ask your kids for their ideas on making sure Christmas remains focused on Christ in your household.

Enjoy, celebrate, and worship God for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May He smile as He watches His children enjoy Him and each other celebrating His birth. Turn what could be a crazy Christmas season into the most fun and relationally sweet time of the year!