Can I tell you a secret? Over the last few years, the Christmas season has held less appeal for me.
I’m not exactly proud of this confession. After all, it’s the time of year that should be most important to Christians. In my mind, the time between November 25th and January 1st should be among the most peaceful, reflective times we have. Unfortunately, my reality says something entirely different.
Does this sound familiar?
“In the grocery store this morning, as Christmas carols serenaded, I trailed a mom down an aisle. She had two school-aged children hanging precariously from the sides of her cart, a toddler in a Santa hat by her side, a baby squirming in a carrier on her chest, and a shopping cart packed with those great big plastic candy canes filled with little red and green M&Ms. Inching my way passed her frenzied state I overheard her talking on the phone, “I have so much going on right now—it’s painful.”
As though on cue, the baby began to wail and Bing Crosby sang, ‘And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again …’
From our over-taxed schedules and over-sugared children, to our exhausting attempts to please everyone all at once, and the inevitable disappointment over gifts and family gatherings. We recognize there are plenty of holiday triggers to keep us snapping at our loved ones during ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’
For me personally, and apparently for the young mom in the grocery store as well, ‘too busy, too much, too hurried’ is top of my Christmas list each tinsel-laden day. From class parties and teacher gifts, to family gatherings and cousin gifts, and the evening stroll through the neighborhood to see Christmas lights with neighborhood friends followed by cookie decorating at your house afterwards. And let’s not forget the Christmas concert at church and the one at the preschool, and when am I supposed to wrap all those presents?
All the while my Pinterest board taunts me from the computer screen, and the advent devotional on the kitchen table teases me too as I hurry past the call to ‘Be still and know …’ night after (not so silent) night.” –Holiday Triggers, Wendy Speake and Amber Lia.
Yep, that pretty much sums up my feelings about the coming Christmas season. Answer these questions to see where you stand:
- When you hear the word, “Christmas” you “heavy sigh” and immediately think of all the things on your list you haven’t even started.
- Your stockings are boxed up somewhere in the basement. You think. Maybe. Last year’s frenzy to take everything down on January 2nd ended in a blur.
- You should probably throw those pumpkins away on the front porch before stringing up any lights.
- The concept of kids being home from school both gives you the warm fuzzies AND causes you to panic. What in the WORLD will you DO with them for two weeks!
- Where WILL the money come from?
If you nodded your head in agreement to at least two of the statements (or questions) above, you (like me) need help getting through this season. There are days in December when I want to do anything but be holly and jolly, and it seems like the very things that are supposed to bring me and those I love joy end up bringing out the very worst I have to offer. Can I say that out loud? I mean, is it OK for me to confess that here?
Sometimes I don’t like who I am at Christmas.
“God is looking in, but He’s not overly concerned with your jingle bells, holiday crafts, or cookie exchanges. While all of those are wonderful, and maybe even bring glory to the Christ child of Christmas, the Lord looks past it all straight into your heart” (Wendy Speake, Holiday Triggers).
Maybe, just maybe, being honest with God about where we are when it comes to Christmas is the best thing we could do this season?
I know this to be true: What’s in the heart eventually comes out. So perhaps the Lord has brought us to this place so He can do a work from the inside out? “Something is always going to spill out of your life and onto those little people around you. Exasperated sighs, explosive shouts, angry tuck-ins after another long holiday-spiked day … yes, something is going to spill out of your hurried heart and over your lips. So let us choose, here at the start of December, to fill ourselves up with the fruit of God’s Spirit, that the true Spirit of Christmas may overflow our mothering lives” (Holiday Triggers).
Almost a year ago, we brought you the very first MOB Society published book, Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. Now, just in time for the holidays, we’re bringing you its timely companion, Holiday Triggers! (Pssst … you can get it for FREE!)
The new Holiday Triggers eBook is your key to dealing with those things around the holidays that just set you (or your children) off, freeing you to actually enjoy the time you have with friends and family. Here are some of the common triggers discussed in the book:
- All the sugar!
- Overstimulated much?
- Where’s the joy?
- Serious trials and Christmas.
- Pressure-filled family relationships.
- Dealing with disappointments.
“How do I get it?!?” you might ask. Holiday Triggers is yours FREE when you purchase a copy of the original Triggers book.
Here’s how to get your copy and take the #HolidayTriggers Challenge:
- Purchase a copy of the original Triggers book in any form (we’ve heard a rumor that both the Kindle and paperback versions are on sale through Amazon!).
- Forward the copy of your email receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please make sure to use this exact email address. If you don’t, you won’t receive the free ebook!).
- Watch your email for Holiday Triggers download instructions.
- Share about the #HolidayTriggersChallenge with your friends, and invite them to join you. Simply share it on Facebook or any other way you want!
- Start reading with an open heart, expecting God to meet you right where you are.
Are you fighting your way through this Christmas season already? Are you fighting with the Lord? Are you fighting with your spouse, your children, your extended family members? If so, Holiday Triggers is for you. Order your copy of Triggers today, and get Holidays Triggers absolutely free. It’s our gift to you this holiday season.
Available now through January 2nd, 2017.
NOTE: Please do not send receipts from before November 30, 2016. Holiday Triggers is available for those who purchase Triggers during the 2016 Holiday Season only. Thank you!