With Christmas around the corner, as a student, I’m a little overwhelmed – ok, really overwhelmed. I want to make things meaningful and enjoyable with my friends and family, but in the past things have been tense. Do you have any practical tips or things I can do proactively to make this Christmas season joyful and keep my sanity?
Overwhelmed and Worried
This is a great question. Thanksgiving to Christmas is hands down the busiest time of the year. Especially for students as you have exams to study for and take, papers to write, group projects to collaborate, festivities to attend, gifts to buy, cards to send, and cookies to bake! On top of all that, some may be graduating, packing up, and moving to the next step in their journey. Is being busy an understatement?
What does your “to-do” list look like? Is it filled with decorating your dorm room to win the $50,000 grand prize of The Great Christmas Light Fight? Do you feel the need to attend every holiday event? Overindulge in shopping for gifts? Or do you fill it with service projects to feed the homeless? None of these is necessarily wrong, but if we put all of them on our to-do list, we may end up having the wrong focus, feeling unprepared, unfulfilled, and stressed during the holiday season.
The holidays are a red carpet to evaluate how we spend our time and consider how people fit into our lives. Ask yourself: What relationship do I want to deepen this season? Which acquaintance do I want to convey love and care for? Maybe it’s a girl on your floor that has had a rough semester that needs a friendly presence or a guy you see in the café struggling to gather his food because of managing crutches from a recent break. Maybe you need to convey to your parents your appreciation for their role in your life and their support of your education in college. Each of us needs to decide what we will place on our to-do list, specifically keeping the focus of loving and caring for others.
"The holidays are a red carpet to evaluate how we spend our time and consider how people fit into our lives...Each of us needs to decide what we will place on our to-do list, specifically keeping the focus of loving and caring for others."
So as you write your to-do list this year, write it from the perspective of loving and caring for others. Your sacrifice of not doing some things will be small in light of the great reward of rich relationships that awaits both you and those around you. This should help you celebrate the holidays with true joy and keep your sanity in the process.
Matthew 25:34b-40 - “… Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me…. As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. “
By day Darcie Hultberg is a speech & language pathologist in the public schools with any extra time spent engaging with her kids in their many activities. She has had a role of mentoring on a weekly basis in the Talbot Wives Fellowship program at Biola University for the past 20 years.
Married 28 years to her amazing husband, Alan Hultberg, they live in Southern California with their four wonderful kids that she’s very proud of in each of their stages of life. The verses she meditates on are Isaiah 26:3-4, trusting in the Lord as her Rock Eternal.