Containing the Christmas Crazies

Stressed Christmas Girl 1

I can still hear my Mother say, “We give thanks before we start Christmas.” Her resolution to live life grateful hung heavy over me as I changed the topic of today’s blog three times. This is the time of year to focus on gratitude and giving thanks.


Christmas IS coming.

Christmas can be crazy.

Christmas shouldn’t be so hard.

Mother’s attitude of gratitude by no means eliminated her love of Christmas. The day after thanksgiving she readily morphed from pilgrim to elf. The Queen of Christmas would launch into action. I and my children can testify that we benefited from her genuine love of the holiday. She’s gone now and her absence reminds me of the need for presence more than presents.

The challenge (for many of us) is how to be more connected and relationship orientated during this busy time of year. Let’s face it. Christmas has turned into a commercialized Godzilla. If we’re not combating consumerism we’re fending off the stranglehold of “to much of a good thing”.

  • Cookies Exchanges
  • Concerts
  • Practice for Concerts
  • Programs
  • Practice for Programs
  • Letters
  • Cards
  • Meals
  • Secret Santas
  • Tokens for the Mailman and Sanitation Worker
  • Indoor Decorating
  • Outdoor Decorating
  • Company Coming
  • Company Going

So. Many. Good. Things!

Too. Many. Good. Things.

We wouldn’t consider cramming this much into any other given four-week time of the year. What’s a DoAhead to do?

Here’s my suggestion. Right now, in the precious few weeks that lead up to December 1st, let’s read. I’m doing it and it’s already getting me excited for the holiday. I have three books that are helping me get my head in the game.

Book #1

Unplug the Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson and Jean C. Staeheli.

The first edition of this gem was published in 1982. Since then it’s had thirteen printings. I bought it a few years ago. I loved the historical component that traced the commercialization of Christmas. We’re not crazy…there was a day and age in which Christmas wasn’t like this!

The appendix of this book is full of treasures. It has everything from budget tools to gift ideas for various age ranges. If you feel like the holiday is pressing in too quick skip this book (this year) and check out book number two.

Book #2

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp

If you haven’t read any of Kathi’s books you should. 🙂  Her humorous but always helpful approach can’t be beat. The best part about this particular book? It’s. TINY. Seriously, any book whose binder is only a centimeter thick {Yes…I really measured it.} gives me hope that I’ll actually finish it.

If you start this book you’ll be done with it by December first (that’s my goal). Kathi talks about how to down-size, prioritize and she mentions a binder. (We all know I LOVE binders.) Finally, there’s one more book that will keep us on a steady keel.

Book #3

The B.I.B.L.E. If flames of the Christmas crazies begin crackling stop, drop and roll with me by doing this:

Glance at your phone. See what date it is. Open up (or look up on your phone) the corresponding book of Proverbs.

December 3rd

Overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Check out this from the third chapter.

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

We can breath deep in the knowledge that He’s got this.

December 16th

Christmas candy derailing the diet? Be blessed by this from chapter 16.

“Moderation is better than muscle, self-control better than political power.” Proverbs 16:32 MSG

He’s the best dieting cheerleader ever.

December 21st

Kids are underfoot and you’re tempted to verbally spew your frustration? Chapter 21 is waiting.

“Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” Proverbs 21:23 MSG

He reminds us of truth because He knows what’s best and He always wants the best for us.

Every moment we spend in His word is a moment in which He’ll meet (and even anticipate) our needs! Let’s finish out November with attitudes of gratitude as we prepare for the best Christmas ever!

Your DoAhead Friend,


  1. This: presence more than presents!
    Yes! As much as I love to give I want to maintain control over the whole present thing.

  2. I love the statement that you are reminded of the need for “presence rather than presents” at Christmas. Now is the time to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Love this.

  3. I have to admit there are parts of Christmas craziness I miss now that I’m retired from the classroom and my kids are grown and have families of their own but ohhhhh, there are parts I wish I would have contained years ago! Thanks for the book suggestions and again your wise insight, Cindy

    • I know Cindy…I’m not ready for mine to fly the coop but we’re getting close! I will be reminding myself of that if some of my “containment strategies” fall through! 🙂

Speak Your Mind