Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Every year, about this time, bloggers, vloggers, and journalists, publish a holiday survival guide for every one from busy women to pink-haired poodles. There's so much valuable information out there, I felt it was not necessary for me to add anything to the conversation. Except there's you... and COVID.
The most wonderful time of the year can be, under the best of circumstances, the most stress-inducing time of the year. Especially for blended-families. Between managing visitation schedules, maintaining reasonable expectations, avoiding competition, and keeping your cool, there's more than enough on your holiday plate. Slap COVID on top of all of that and it will overwhelm to exhaustion.
COVID has made "usual" impossible so I wanted to give you a few tips, and scriptures, to help do more than survive this holiday season. How about we do more than make it to January 2, 2021? (DID I JUST TYPE 2021?!) How about we get to January 2, 2021, better than we are today? Let's thrive this season! Below are my Holiday Hacks for the Bonus Mom's soul to help you do just that:
Hebrews 4:9 (ESV) "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God," Take a sabbath rest. It's more than a day off from work. It is a coming away from everything, a complete disconnect, for the express purpose of resting body, mind, and soul. Jesus told us in Mark that it was made for us (Mark 2:27). Open the gift God has given you. Schedule 3 "do-nothing" but rest days and take them, without guilt.
Psalm 149:3 (ESV): "Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!" Turn on the music and dance. Dancing releases happiness chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin. Dancing keeps you present, in the moment. Dancing brings people together. The best wedding guest memory I have was from the wedding of my husband's nephew (an African-American young man) to a beautiful ginger (red-headed) girl. The song, "We are Family" came on and family members started grabbing people from the in-law side of the family. There's a picture of a multi-racial, cross-generational group of people singing off-key, dancing badly, and laughing and hugging on the dance floor. We still keep in touch with our niece-in-law's grandparents.
1 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV): "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." You are a holy habitation for the Lord. Your physical being matters to God. You health matters to God. Take care of His temple. Soak in a hot tub.
Proverbs 27:9 (NIV): "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." If you are able, meet a girlfriend for a walk. My favorite smell is the scent of lilac perfumed air after a storm. Oh my goodness! It just lifts my soul. The Bible tells us a good friend refreshes us in the same way.
Psalm 9:1 (NIV): "I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." Why wait until January 1st? Grab a dollar-store journal and a pen and create a Goodness Inventory. List all the ways God has been good to you in 2020; everything He has carried you through, how He has sustained you, what He has bestowed, and what He has restrained. It will help you experience and enjoy God in your day.
Proverbs 16:7 (ESV): “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Anyone you live to please becomes your master. There's only One worthy of that distinction. "Holiday" to please God; He will take care of everyone else.
Psalm 119:148 (ESV): "My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise." Meditate on your favorite scriptures. Stay connected to what gives you life. The words Jesus speak are spirit and life.
Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV): "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest." Who says you have to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to make your dinner? Today, while you doing your regular cooking, make a dish which will store well in the freezer (liquid based dishes, cake batter, cookie dough, gravy). You will cut way down on holiday stress with make ahead dishes. (I would have said potluck, but again...COVID!)
1 Peter 5:7 (NIV): "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Throw up! Cast every anxiety inducing bit of family dynamics, conversations, interaction, and perfectionism onto God. He wants to relieve you of the emotional burden anxiety brings. Give it to Him. He cares deeply for you.
Amos 5:13 (NIV): "Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil." SHH! Sometimes the greatest thing to say is nothing at all. Is the verbal fray you're getting ready to get into worth the toil on your emotional health? No? Then let it go.
There you have it: my 10 Holiday Wholeness Hacks for the Bonus Mom's Soul. I pray something you read here will benefit your journey. When it comes to thriving in the holiday season, what has worked for you? Comment below. Until next time.
Keep Stepmomming in Grace,