Did you go Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving?
I don’t know why they call it Black Friday, but I hope you had fun!
Most of us have already done some shopping, got stuck in traffic, and driven round and round praying for a parking spot. In other words, we’ve already tasted the pressure of the season!
I don’t know about you, but when I’m under pressure, I can get a bit irritable. All my beautiful prayers that I might be like Jesus: patient, loving, and self-sacrificing seem to go out the window when I’m in a slow moving line at Macy’s or Target. And when someone says, “OH, I forgot one item, I won’t be a minute.” I end up silently whining, Oh, Lord, no, please, why? Why my lane? Then:
- Mix together the pressure to get everyone that perfect present at a bargain price
- Decorate a gorgeous tree
- Bake enough cookies to feed the five thousand
- Throw a fabulous party for everyone you know
PLUS stir in tired, cranky kids, and husbands groaning at the cost of it all—and the greatest season of the year can easily become one you’d rather forget as tempers flare, children bicker and you have an emotional melt down!
Anyone been there?
If you still have lots of shopping to do before Christmas Day, here are 6 tips that will help you avoid stress:
Think Before You Shop!
- Think: Write out a gift list noting the top price you’ll pay and plan to stick with it.
- Think: Keep a tally of what you’re spending as you go from store to store. Imagine how glad you’ll be come bill paying time to see that you stuck to your budget!
- Think: Choose YOUR best time of day. When do you have the most energy—both physically and emotionally? If you find yourself flagging, go have a quick snack and relax for 15 minutes.
- Think: What is the best time for your children to go shopping with you? Anticipate potential problems, making plans for how to deal with them before you leave home.
- Think: When you’re shopping with children, it’s easy to forget they don’t have your energy to push through one more store! They need attention and consideration. If they don’t get it from you, their decibel level is guaranteed to go higher and higher and under stress, it’s easy to snap and say words you’ll regret.
- Think: Plan how you’ll handle their fatigue or boredom. Instead of waiting till you all have a meltdown, choose to get on their eye level, speak softly not roughly, give them your full attention, put your arm around them, and help them deal with the situation.
I hope these ideas help. Be sure and pass them on to friends and family. Next week I’ll share about how to speak nourishing words to others, even when you’re under pressure!
Let’s Talk: Write a comment or send me an quick email with how YOU handle your Christmas shopping trips. And if you shop mainly online—share tips that have helped you. (If you are an email subscriber and want to comment on the actual post, click here to visit the blog and leave a comment.)