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Feeling Stressed This Christmas? This Is for You

By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

With Christmas just a few days away I have a confession: My holiday focus has shifted. I haven’t purchased any gifts. I’ve focused minimally on Christmas decor. And I honestly could care less about a menu with all of the expected trimmings at the holiday dinner table. I’m not moved by any of it.

In fact, my perspective has shifted and I’m just grateful to have an opportunity to kick back, relax and spend that day with loved ones. I think on all the years that I’ve stressed over picking the right gifts. Or, wasted money trying to find just the right holiday (out) fit. I spent energy and time traveling to all of the pressing gatherings. And, add in all other mindless matters that we prioritize at this time of year.

On my agenda this year instead – good fellowship, good conversation and good rest. I’m keeping it simple and reminding myself that it’s okay just to be this Christmas. Just writing this sentiment brings me so much peace. And let me be fair. I’m not diminishing the warm and wonderful traditions that come with the holiday.

If that’s what you desire to do – from the decorating to the cooking and all things in between – then hey, do you Boo. This message is for those who, like me, can begin to feel the overwhelm, the fatigue and the stress that can accompany such a celebrated season.

In the past, I’ve made a big deal about what I’m buying, gifting, giving, doing and cooking for the holiday. And after it was all over, it left me worn out, agitated and fatigued. But when you learn better, you do better.

If you also trend toward feeling the stress of it all, let me encourage you to slow down and breathe because really, it’s okay to just be this Christmas. I’m giving you a pass; sliding you some grace; and encouraging to take a new look at an old tradition. Won’t you join me? Let’s do different and be different this year.

Material things will never replace the warmth of your presence, nor the sincerity of the words spoken from your tongue. Here’s my simple encouragement – let’s take a deep breath and take the pressure off this week. I mean, not just dial back, but take it all the way down.

I want to lend you a new perspective: You are the gift, and your presence is the blessing. So all you need to do this holiday is just be. If the gifts haven’t been bought, and the sides for the family dinner haven’t been planned, just trust that it will all work out just as it should. Somewhere in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we’ve let the real reason for the season slip.

This is a season of love, joy, peace, thankfulness and lovingkindness.  And these are truly the best gifts we can give someone, giftwrapped with a generous dose of the awesome person that is you.

Blessings this holiday season and beyond from Coach K.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.