Turn Christmas Pains into Joy
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1999
Leaving Christ out of Christmas
Many people get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season that they
totally forget the reason we celebrate Christmas. It truly becomes X-mas instead
of "Christ"mas. This is one of biggest reasons Christmas has turned
into a pain.
- Read the account of Christ's birth in the Bible and then talk about the
blessings you have received this year. This help to put you in the right
Dealing with the Cost
One of the biggest pains of Christmas is the cost of all the presents and the
mailings. People want to give wonderful gifts to each other. Generous
giving is part of our nature, but not always affordable. There are many ways to
deal with the problem. Here are just a few.
a sewn item
dinner for two
- Cut back on giving. Instead of giving to everyone in the family institute
the Gift Giving Round Robin. Each family member is put on the list according
to age. The first year, the first person will give to the second, the second
will give to the third and so on.
- Each year the order of giving rotates down one step. In the second year
the first person would give to the third the second would give to the fourth
and so on. The following year it would jump two people, making the first
person give to the fourth person and the second the fifth and so on. In this
manner everyone always knows who is giving to who, by who they gave to the
No One to Share Christmas With
Many people become depressed at this time of year because they are away from
family or they have no family left. This is what can be done.
- Invite other people who do not have family to join with you to celebrate
this joyous time of year.
- If you do not have the money to give a big dinner then invite the people
to bring potluck.
- If none of you can afford this, then get together on Christmas Eve or
Christmas to read the account of Christ's birth in the Bible and then talk
about the blessings you have received this year.
Depression from Seasonal Affect Disorder
- Some people find that they have a tendency to get depressed as the days
get shorter. Get this checked out by your physician. This is the problem, it
can be taken care of by special lights placed in your home and work place.
Dealing with Unwanted Family
- Patch up the differences and bury the hatchet.
- Call a seasonal cease fire.
- Put some space between you and them. Instead of putting them up in your
home, put them up in a motel close by.
- If none of these things will work because there are irreconcilable
difference, don't torture each other, tell them that you would like to
celebrate Christmas with just your immediate family. Before hand, consider
the worse that can happen? If the benefits out weigh the risk, then do it.
What to Give
One of the hardest thing about giving is thinking of something that will be
wanted and used.
Here are some generic ideas that are always in style...
- Basic food storage items
- A gift certificate
- A calling card
- Cooking utensils
- A case of tissues
Dealing with the Shopping Scene
- Shop early.
- Buy a gift or two per month throughout the year. Take advantage of sales
throughout the year.
- Shop the worldwide web. Almost all stores have purchasing via the
Internet. Many stores do not charge for delivery when you shop on-line. Many
stores have URL's (e-mail address) which are simple. Just type in
http://www.the store's name.com or use search engines to help you
find the type of merchandise you want, i.e. appliances, computers, or house
- To shop some places like Costco, Sam's, or The World Wide Shopping Mall
require a membership fee. Comparison shop and see if the membership is worth
the discounts you get from shopping there.
Example of working URL's for these stores.
Things to Know about Shopping Online
- When shopping on-line use stores that you trust. Getting the cheapest
price is important but not as important as getting the quality you want.
- If you don't know the store you are about to do business with, make sure
the store is legitimate. Make sure by calling their 800 number it doesn't
cost anything and may save you pain and money and call the Better Business
Bureau in the businesses' area.
- If you are going to purchase a big item, ask for previous customer's
numbers who have use the item you are thinking of buying.
- When you shop on-line, you do not know if you are going to get exactly
what you want, or if it will arrive in good condition. Make sure that you
know the store's policy for returning merchandise.
- You will want to know about the store's service and repair policy on
high-tech items especially if they apply outside your state or country.
- Be sure to comparison shop!
- Make sure that the site is a secured server if you will be giving them
your credit card number.
- The store will be asking you information about you. Before you give it,
everything they know about you to other people/businesses? If you don't like
- Payment can be in the form of credit or debit card, check, or money order.
Credit and debit card orders are shipped immediately, whereas check or money
orders have to wait until your check or money order gets there.
- The better stores will e-mail you about the status of the product you have
ordered or allow you to check on its status at any time. Be careful of
places that do not offer such information.
Addressing and Sending out Christmas Cards
- Instead of expensive non-personal cards and postage, make a family news
letter of blessing and events of your family's year or just put an e-mail of
personal season's greetings. You could include a family/personal photo glued
or scanned into the text.
- There are many places on the web that have free clip art that you can
incorporate into your letter to dress it up.
Two of these are:
Highland Graphics LDS with a Religious Clip Art Section
DJ's Best LDS Clip Art
- Use E-mail Cards. E-mail those you can, then mail regular cards to the
- Cut back on the cards you send.
- Don't send cards at all if it makes you feel bad to do so.
Below are some excellent free electronic cards and virtual flowers you can
send to your friends if you should choose to do so.
Putting up the Christmas Lights Outside
- If putting up lights in the cold is ruining your Christmas spirit, just
give it up.
- Many people have opted to leave their lights up all year round.
- Hire a teenager to put them up and take them down.
- Put up light around the inside of your windows or just put the lights on
bushes in the yard.
Don't Dread Christmas Do What it Takes to Be Happy
- Decide now to make this Christmas the spiritual renewal and time of giving
that is should be.
- Ask the Lord for the Christmas Spirit.
- Play and/or sing the Christmas carols.
- Don't go into debt, instead give of yourself.
- Plan ahead.
- If old traditions are driving you crazy, start new ones.
- Incorporate the ideas mentioned above that will be helpful in making the
Be of Service
Service is one of the great ways to bring the spirit of Christmas back into
Merry Christmas !
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
- Secretly help a needy family.
- Donate some food to the food bank.
- Secretly shovel the snow from the neighbor's walks.
- Look for the good in your fellow man and comment on it.
- Do a service project for the community.
Annette Nay Homepage
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