01 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Keeping Christmas ‘the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’!

I have gotten the Turnbulls’ newsletter for several years. For a long time Bob and Yvonne have been teaching, speaking and writing on marriage and family issues. They have an interesting story themselves but their practical wisdom on marriage and family is excellent. Below is an example of their practical nature on how to have a stress-free Christmas. (Couldn’t we all use a good word on that?)

Note their website: turnbullministries.org as they have many resources and info there.

May our Lord bless you and your marriage & family this Christmas season. May it indeed be “the most wonderful time of the year” for you.

HOW TO HAVE A STRESS FREE CHRISTMAS

Bob and Yvonne Turnbull

Turnbull Ministries

Christmas 2011

Are you like us that one of the many things we like during this holiday time is the music?

We pull out all the old time Christmas favorites and start playing them the day after Thanksgiving. One of the songs we enjoy is Andy Williams’ holiday theme song, “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

But have you noticed along with being wonderful it can also be a very stressful time for many families? There is the pressure of buying gifts, decorating our home, putting up lights, sending cards, cooking and baking, attending parties, having house guests. To be honest with you there have been a few past Christmas times that we couldn’t wait for it to be over.

What a shame when Christmas should be a time of joyous celebration. We read about that in the angel’s statement to the shepherds of Bethlehem, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) God had and continues to have great news for all of us and it is that God loves us so much that he came to earth as a human so we could get to know him and love him. That is something to celebrate.

So to help us enjoy this celebration and to make our families Christmas a stress free zone – here are a few tips for the Christmas Holidays.

Discuss Expectations

When expectations go unspoken, conflict can occur. To overcome this, have a family meeting as soon as possible and develop a plan. Discuss, pray and be in agreement as to where and with whom you are spending Christmas and how many activities you as a family will be involved in. Use a family calendar to organize activities and stay on track. Keep in mind on certain days not to schedule anything. Leave it open for spontaneity or chill time.

Don’t Go Into Debt For Christmas Gifts

Set a budget and stick to it. Nothing is more stressful then when the bills start arriving in January and you are struggling to make the payments for stuff that has already been laid aside or forgotten. In our family we agree upon an amount of money for gifts and then we cut that dollar amount in half. Half goes towards buying each family member a gift and the other half is used for buying gifts for less privileged children in our own community. It helps us keep in mind that Christmas is about giving not just receiving.

Extend Grace To Difficult Family Members

When we come together as family we often idealize family relationships and think they will be “different” this year.” If we are realistic about them we will be more relaxed and can have a better reaction to possible negative situations. Learn to practice what is taught in Colossians 4:6, “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” When your sister criticizes your cooking, simply smile and extend grace and forgiveness. When your uncle goes off about your Christian beliefs, don’t argue. Diffuse him with a smile and say, “Well I can see you feel very strongly about your views” and then change the subject.

Recharge Your Batteries

Make getting enough sleep a priority, or you will not have the energy or mood to enjoy the holidays. Do not overindulge in foods high in sugar and fat. One small bit can satisfy your sweet tooth. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits as they contain the vitamins and minerals that helps reduce stress. If you want to increase your energy, get up off the couch and get moving. Go for a walk, the gym, park the car a distance from the store entrance, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Pick what you like, but get moving.

Spend Time With Jesus

When you do this in the midst of your busy schedule He will help you keep your priorities in line and others will sense His presence in you and be drawn to Him. What a great gift to give others this Christmas season.

We both wish you a joyous and blessed Christmas!

And to be sure that you have Peace With God we would like to encourage you to visit www.billygraham.org and then click on Spiritual Help followed by clicking on Steps To Peace With God. You may want to share this link with family and friends.
www.turnbullministries.org

PO Box 5580

La Quinta, CA 92248

Phone: 760.238.4588

E-Mail: btmin@aol.com

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