Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas and stress

In this snowy Sunday's paper, Billy Graham talks about Christmas and the stress that comes along with it...
You can make Christmas a less stressful, more spiritual time
Q: I'm already depressed about Christmas. Last year, we resolved not to spend as much money or get so busy, but I can already tell that it's not going to happen. How we can make Christmas what it ought to be, instead of this rat race? -- Mrs. E.W.J.
It's true, that the Christmas expenses can sure add up fast. The short answer to these problems is setting a budget and making up a plan. But let's see what Billy has to say.
A: I suspect countless readers feel exactly like you do; the holiday season has become so busy and so commercialized that we hardly have time to stop and think about its true meaning.
Tell me about it! Almost no one I know gives thanks to the protoplanet that smashed into the still forming Earth and caused it to tilt on it's axis as it does. Without that tilt, we wouldn't have the seasons were do, nor the Winter Solstice in late December. Axial tilt truly is the reason for the season.

But it shouldn't be this way, nor does it need to be. You can still take steps to make this Christmas a less stressful and more spiritual time. Let me suggest three words that might help you. First, simplify. Make a list of all the things you have to do between now and Christmas, then cut out everything you possibly can. Not everything is important or necessary; do what you can to simplify your life.
Very true, it's important to cut out unnecessary expenses and the like. Skip the trip to church and save some gas. Save some cash and don't put money in the tithe (you can use that tip year-round). Turn off Fox news so you don't have to be stressed out by their fake war on Christmas. Buy cheaper, thoughtful gifts, instead of buying more and more expensive electronics each year. Maybe even agree
to keep gifts only down to immediate family to save everyone time and money. This really should be a time of gathering together more than a commercial mess anyway.
Then plan. Many of us frantically jump from one thing to another around Christmas, simply because we haven't planned ahead. But even a little planning can add hours to your day. And don't feel you have to carry the whole load; get your family to help with projects.
A little planning goes a long way. And it's always good to share duties with others so that no one gets too stressed out, and things get done faster. And if you ever need an example of poor planning, just look at the Bible. If that book were planned properly, it wouldn't contradict itself so regularly, and include some of the silly stories and events it does.
Most of all, focus; that is, deliberately take time every day to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Read together from the Bible's account of Jesus' birth, and thank God for sending His Son into the world for our salvation. Especially help your children discover the wonder of God's love for us. The Bible says, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1).
 What? I thought he said to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, not the plagiarized meaning that Christians tacked onto it when they renamed the holiday they stole.  Jesus is not the reason for the season. In fact, Christmas is simply the most recent name of this holiday. Under the Romans it was Pagan traditions.
called Saturnalia. Prior to that, various Pagan beliefs were already celebrating this time of year in various ways. Just about everything about Christmas is stolen from earlier

These celebrations all stem from one thing... The Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year. The day that marks the 'rebirth' of the sun and the longer days that go along with it. I'd sooner celebrate the first sign of the coming Spring before the birth of an imaginary, vengeful, vain, unjust god any day.

-Brain Hulk

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