Let’s be jolly; Deck the halls with boughs of holly!

Christmas songs already? I know – but did you notice that before the Halloween decorations were off the shelves, the Christmas items were on display! Does that get you excited or fill you with anxiety?  We do not have to be overwhelmed or too busy this holiday season! Planning ahead will make a huge difference!

Using a simple two step process for a holly, jolly Christmas, we can walk confidently into November and come strolling out of December with love, joy and peace still intact in our hearts and on our faces.

The first step is to be jolly…but stop being so ‘nice’! (Yes – your best friend wrote me and asked me to tell you this!)  Why is it so hard to say ‘no’? Even when we don’t really want to do what’s being asked??? We’re people pleasers, aren’t we?  Below is a portion of an article titled The High Price of Being Too Nice by Leslie Vernick ( www.leslievernick.com ) that may give you a few tips.

Stop Being Too Nice

1. Being kind doesn’t mean you always say “yes,” it means that you learn to say “no” kindly.  

2. Before you say “yes,” stop and say, “Let me think about that, and I’ll get back to you.” That will give you some time to think through whether you are being too nice, or you really want to or feel led to do it.  

3. Let go of guilt. You cannot be all things to all people or do everything people want. Jesus was perfect, and He still disappointed people.

The second step is to go ahead and deck the halls (or at least get ready too!).  Marcia Ramsland offers a free download to help you Simplify Your Holiday Season. In 8 weeks, Christmas will be here. And if you start this week, you can schedule a little shopping at a time, a little menu planning at a time, pace your gift wrapping, decorating, and card writing, so that everything you want to do gets done without the stress! Check out her website (www.organizingpro.com) for fabulous tips.

I have gotten into the habit of writing my ‘Christmas letter’ in November and mailing it out just before Thanksgiving each year. It’s always refreshing to share all that our family is thankful for after reflecting over the past year, and it gets that item checked off my list before December even begins!

Friend, may the next several weeks be more loving, joyful and peaceful as you learn to be authentically jolly (rather than superficially nice) and deck your halls a bit at a time!  Love and joy unto you this holiday season!  That, after all, is what we all want for the holidays!

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