Holiday Stress – and What We Do About It! – MBFLP 271

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” the song says … and one of the busiest and most stressful, too! What can we do to maintain the spirit of celebration while the season’s demands pile on top of our already-full lives? What practical steps can we take to lighten the load and get the really important things done? As the homeschooling parents of eight kids, starting and running a business from home at the same time, trust us – we’ve been there. Join us in this special edition where we talk about the realities of homeschooling, home business, and the holidays!

Holidays are Opportunities

The Bible has some holidays which were commandments, at least to the Israelites. God gave the ceremonies of Passover and told the people that when they came to the promised land, “you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.” (Exodus 12:24) Why was that? “It shall be as a sign to you … and as a memorial …” (Exodus 13:9). There are questions and answers expected so the elders pass on their faith to the younger generations –

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you …” (Deuteronomy 32:7)

Even though we don’t have a Biblical commandment to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are opportunities to connect our families — and ourselves — with the goodness of God in His provision for life now and life hereafter!

[For good measure, consider when the exiles returned to rebuild Jerusalem and celebrated the recovery of the Law. After a marathon reading of the Word of God, the governor Nehemiah told the people, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)]

The challenge to us is to be sure to focus on the message, and not be overwhelmed by the daily responsibilities and the seasonal additions!

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Think About Priorities

Have you seen the illustration of loading rocks and gravel into a big container? The only way to maximize what fits is to load the biggest things first, then smaller ones to fill in the gaps. Your daily (weekly, monthly) plan is the same way – you need to consider the most important, top-priority matters first, and fit them into your schedule before the secondary things.

And in a season when you need to be sure your children and your family hear the good news of the Messiah’s birth and really think about God’s mercies and provision over the past year … maybe it’s not as critical to do every single worksheet in the curriculum every day. Sometimes you can bring holiday-related subjects into the schoolwork (baking and cooking is a great way to work on weights and measures and fractions; Charles Dickens and George MacDonald can provide reading materials; personalized greeting cards are good handwriting practice!)

Listen in for more thoughts and ideas that can make your holiday season less anxious and more joyful this year!