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<< Holidays & Special Coverage << Christmas and Advent

6 Ways to Ruin Christmas

  • Jennifer Heeren Crosswalk Contributing Writer
  • 2015 2 Dec
6 Ways to Ruin Christmas
Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year. At least, that’s what the song says. It’s a time to cherish the people in your life and be grateful for the blessings that you have received throughout the year. It may also be a time to thank God for getting you through the various trials that you may have encountered over the year. However, it is extremely easy to allow your to-do list to get out of hand during December. 
Here are six ways to guarantee you have a miserable Christmas:
1. Use the Treats of the Season as an Excuse for Poor Health
There are plenty of opportunities to overindulge with chocolate, candy, cookies, cake, etc. during December. Treat yourself to some of them. Good food is a nice part of the celebration. Eat a small amount of your favorites and try new things. However, you don’t have to eat more than one serving of everything that you see. If you’re stuffed, you don’t really appreciate more food anyway. Eat treats in moderation and you’ll enjoy them more.
Also, just because you are extremely busy, don’t skip your exercise workout sessions. Combine a little exercise with your errands:  park farther away from the stores, walk around the mall extra times while you’re shopping, or grab a friend and walk around the block to make up for those extra treats you’ll be consuming.
2. Worry About Getting People the Perfect Gift
Of course, you should put thought into the gifts that you buy for people. After all, just picking up any old thing won’t bless them. However, it is possible to agonize over your choices so much that you forget that your main purpose should be to simply bless them—not impress them. Blessing them is as simple as thinking about things that you know that they enjoy and then getting something that fits those characteristics. If they love books, a gift card to a bookstore is perfect, not mention simple. If they are always physically active, a workout bag in their favorite color can be wonderful. Your task isn’t to get something that they could never live without. Your task is to get something nice that falls within their wheelhouse.
3. Never Stop Your Intense Busyness 
Going to work during the day, stopping at stores on your way home, spending your entire weekends shopping and running around, filling almost every evening with a Christmas festivity, decorating your home after dinner, staying up too late wrapping gifts—all of these activities may seem mandatory and even necessary to complete your to-do list. However, if you never take quiet moments to relax, you will become frazzled and burned out by December 25th. Sit on your couch with a hot mug of apple cider or hot chocolate and enjoy the tree that you so tirelessly decorated. If it snows, take your kids out to play in it—don’t tell them that there isn’t enough time. Take a family drive one night to look at Christmas lights. Slow down and take it all in. Make memories that you’ll remember longer than the presents. It really is a magical, loving time of the year.
4. Spend Way Above Your Means
One of the hardest things to do at Christmas time is to set a Christmas budget and then stick to it. There are many cool things on sale and most of them could fit someone on your list. If you set a spending limit for each person and stick to it, you’ll get through Christmas without paying for it all the way through July 2016.
There are also cool things at great prices that you may be tempted to get for yourself while you are out. This will not only add to your budget but it will also make you think that the season is all about you.
5. Think That Your Christmas is All About You
Speaking of the all-about-you mentality, don’t always be thinking of what you have to do, what you have to buy, what money is in your bank account, etc. Remember the others that are all around you: Smile at them, buy them a cup of coffee, pay for the stranger’s meal behind you in the drive-thru. These are all ways to remember to help make others’ Christmas season brighter and in the midst of these actions, your Christmas will become brighter as well.
6. Forget the Real Reason for the Season
Jesus humbled himself and came to earth to be born as a baby. He didn’t have to do it. He did it so that you and I would have a God in which we could relate. Jesus was born a human baby so that he could live a sinless life and show us the way to live. He did it in order to be closer to us. He didn’t think of himself first. He thought of you. 
That is the true reason for the season---God’s unfathomable, unfailing, immense love for you. Moreover, that is worth celebrating every day, not just on December 25th.
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write things that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at
Publication date: December 2, 2015