4. Remember Your Priority Relationships. 

When we remember what's most important in life it can keep us from stressing out. We were made to love God and enjoy Him forever. And Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). That means that all you think you have to do, and all the money you feel you have to spend, pale in comparison to the people right in front of you. As you start to stress, ask yourself this question: What is most important: The project or the person I'm neglecting in order to get it done? The perfectly-decorated house or my children who want me to play with them? The amount of money I spend on someone, or the time I’m willing to spend with them? In your busyness this Christmas, don't neglect the One this season is all about. And don't neglect the loved ones He has given you to share your life with. As you prioritize people over productivity, you'll find it's easier to let some things go. 

5. Reflect on what matters most.

Christmas is about the greatest gift you and I could ever receive—the gift of a Savior that God sent to this earth be a perfect example to us of living faith, to die for our sins and be the perfect sacrifice God required for our justification, and to rise again to conquer death and offer us life eternal. Because there was nothing we could ever do to deserve that gift, we accept it humbly and, out of our love for God and His perfect gift to us, we seek to emulate that love and give to others. 

It's all about what God gave us. And what we can now give to others. Giving to others doesn't have to be monetarily or materialistically. Maybe you will just give to someone your time, your heart, a much-needed smile, a helping hand, a watchful eye, a listening ear.  Ask God for a way to give to each person who means the world to you. And to others who might not mean anything to anyone. And you will be giving God the greatest gift He could receive....your desire to be more like His Son. 

Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books including Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, Women on the Edge, and When You're Running on Empty. For free resources to strengthen your soul, your walk with God and your marriage, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Publication date: December 11, 2012

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