Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Six Steps to Avoid the Holiday Frazzles


Holiday FrazzlesHave you noticed how Mom is the one who makes the holidays happen? Mom is the one who decorates, bakes, shops for gifts, prepares holiday meals, and plans special activities. Mom is also the one most likely to end up frazzled and snappy by the time Christmas rolls around.

My holiday memories revolve around my mother. She turned tree decorating into a family party, complete with special snacks and eggnog. I remember a magical Christmas tea party she gave for my friends; she set a lovely table with fancy cookies, vintage red glass, real silver, and a lace tablecloth.

Memories of our mothers have probably grown rosier over time, and they can create unrealistic standards we feel we have to live up to. I want to create an atmosphere of blessing and fun for my family, but when exhaustion hits me, watch out! I get the grouchies, and that’s no fun for anyone.

I want to be good news to my family during Advent

Last week God sparked my heart when I read what the angel said to the shepherds:

Good news of great joy

Like that angel, we can bring good news by sharing the gospel or by speaking an encouraging word. I want to be a good news bearer, especially at home. But when I get worn down and weary, Mrs. Cranky Pants comes out instead.

Maybe the most strategic thing we can do to make Christmas memorable for our families is to take care of ourselves.

Six Steps to Avoid the Holiday Frazzles:

1.  Put God First

Make God the center of your day. Spend a few minutes with Him for spiritual refueling each morning. His Word will give you peace and perspective. Pray for guidance and blessing as you undertake each activity. Remember Him at night when you lay your head down.

2.  Embrace Your Limits

Don’t feel you have to say yes to every social invitation and every request your family makes to do special things in December.  Ask each family member to choose one activity, like a holiday movie night, or a drive to look at Christmas lights. Put those on your calendar, and let go of the rest.

3.  Ask for Help

Ask your husband and children what they’d like to do, and share responsibilities like gift wrapping, baking, and decorating. The benefit is two-fold: you get help, and your family has more ownership of their celebration.

4.  Schedule Time for Yourself

Do whatever keeps you sane, whether it’s spending an hour on the couch with a book, sticking to your exercise routine, or planning a coffee date with a friend. When you can, treat yourself to something that brings you a sense of inner calm, like candles or soft music.

5.  Eat Healthy

Keep ingredients for easy meals on hand, so you’ll resist the urge to grab Christmas cookies for lunch on your way out the door or to go through the drive-through on your way back home.

6.  Get Enough Sleep

A good night’s sleep does miracles. We all know this, but why is it so challenging? For me this means turning off social media and winding down family activities at 9:30, so I can relax before bed.

This is my plan to keep Mrs. Cranky Pants away from my house during December.  I want to avoid the holiday frazzles so I can be good news to my family and friends.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any ideas about how to make life simpler in December?

Linking up with HollyBarrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory,  Meredith Bernard’s #Woman2Woman Wednesday, and Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart.


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

26 thoughts on “Six Steps to Avoid the Holiday Frazzles

  1. I wrote about something very similar today…hmm! The holidays must be getting to all of us! 🙂 Praying you and your family keep Jesus at the center of the celebrations this year (and praying the same for me too)!

  2. mrs. cranky pants. 🙂 hehe

  3. So much practical & needed wisdom in this post, Betsy. Grateful to be reminded this morning 🙂

  4. Love it and couldn’t agree more! Mrs. Cranky Pants hasn’t made any appearances around here yet, so I’m going to keep following these wise words and leaning on the Lord. A frazzle-free Christmas sounds pretty nice! 🙂

  5. Wonderful words of advice, my friend! I’m so glad that my girls have always been helpful (my husband always takes charge of stringing lights and the music 😉 ) in the kitchen and on the decorating front. I love using the crockpot to make easy meals during December :).

  6. Oh yes, when I get tired I am definitely not someone people want to be around. 😉 These are such great, practical tips, Betsy and how easily we forget the basics. Thanks for this reminder that when I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take very good care of anyone else either.

    • Yes, Abby, Believe me, I’m BAD news when I get too tired. It’s true that the basics are sometimes hardest to get. I can’t seem to get going to bed early enough down yet, and I’m 50!!!!

  7. Thanks Betsy you saved my day. These six steps you mention sound so very delightful to me right now. I’m an exhausted mommy right today and its not just because its the Christmas season. There are lots of thing that I’m letting consume my mind and time. I’m excited to apply your suggestions. This may sound silly, but it’s almost like I needed a reminder and permission to take care of myself. Your Post is very helpful Betsy!

    A really fun thing that I have done for this Christmas season is go Christmas shopping with my husband and make a date out of it. We sent our kids to their friends for a play date. It was so fun without our little kids!!!! He drove and I rested. He made me laugh and tears of joy filled my heart. He is a kids all over at Christmas time. We talked without interruption from little talkers. Sipped some coffee together and rested our tired shopping feet at a coffee shop.

    We did something really different this year. Usually we wrap presents on Christmas Eve. We would always tire ourselves out. This year we had a wrapping gift party. We turned on a show, had a glass or two of wine, and took our time. Now on Christmas Eve we can rest and enjoy a quiet night.

    Driving around to see Christmas lights is one of my favorites. It does my heart good and lifts me up. I love the experience of my children delighting themselves in such excitement.

    Betsy enjoy your silent nights before God’s feet and rest in His arms with great peace.

    • Wow, Lisa! What a great idea to turn Christmas shopping into a date! It sounds lovely! You could write a post on this! I also like the Christmas wrapping party. I’ve also been there and done that as far as wrapping on Christmas Eve. So much better to get it done early! Thanks for this suggestion. I’m going to get to it this week!

  8. You know I love that suggestion to eat healthy! That’s my goal for this season…to eat healthy and not gain any weight!

  9. Betsy, you always offer such helpful advice for stressful times. What I love most about your suggestions is that they are practical and do-able! One thing I’ve started is having ‘prayer walks’ – combining my exercise time with God/worship time. (The neighbors sometimes give me funny looks as I’m bopping down the street chatting-it-up with God!)

  10. Betsy,
    I guess my sanity falls under #4 – Make some time for yourself. I have been reading Ann Voskamp’s Advent devotional, “The Greatest Gift” and have been putting the corresponding ornaments on my Jesse tree. Even if I have to make an appointment with myself, I am trying to set aside this time each day to help me stay focused on my Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. The chaos tries to crowd it out, but so far I have been standing firm and I believe it helps me to be much less like Scrooge during the holidays. Thanks for some great tips about keeping it sane!!

  11. Love these practical tips- so helpful! Hugs to you.:)

  12. Fabulous post, Betsy, thanks! I especially love #1, putting God first. I’m dismayed by how many people who don’t even embrace Christianity celebrate Christmas, or rather a holiday about gifts. I’m even more shocked by real Christians who get so caught up in the festivities that they forget what we’re really supposed to be celebrating! We need these reminders!

  13. Great tips, Betsy. I am a running a deficit on #4. Calling a gf now!! Blessings.

  14. Oh, don’t I need this, Betsy?! To BE the good news for my family this year. What a struggle this is for me. I was snappy last night BEFORE CHURCH wrapping presents for heaven’s sake. BEFORE CHURCH. Ha. I needed these reminders today. Great advice to get my happy back…before it’s too late. Love you!

    • I hear you Meredith! I started to spoil our CHRISTMAS FUN NIGHT, for heaven’s sake, while cooking together with my son. Thank heavens, I caught myself in the nick of time, and asked for grace to change my attitude and calm down! It worked.

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