In year’s past, many people at this time of year would begin complaining about the stress of the holidays.

There are Christmas parties to plan and attend.

And, what am I going to wear, add shopping at the mall for new clothes.

There are cookies to bake for the neighborhood exchange.

There are appointments to make for Santa pictures.

There are Holiday concerts to attend.

And all the in-laws are coming into town this year.

Wait, none of that is happening. 

Or very little.

If you choose, there are still cards to send, gifts to give, lights to put up, homes to decorate.

Or not.

This year we have a chance to make our holidays less stressful, without looking like the Grinch.

What if instead of mourning all the things we can’t do this Christmas or Holiday Season, we viewed it as an opportunity to conduct an experiment?

A Christmas Experience Experiment.

We take all the hustle and bustle out of our normal Christmas experience, and do things differently. 

What would that look like for you?

Nestled on the couch with cocoa and enjoying Christmas music together instead of attending the kids holiday concert? 

Setting up Zoom time with your extended family who will not be visiting. Perhaps each family performs a skit or shares a talent with the others? Or just catch up.

What if your family performs the nativity or some other Christmas story instead of attending a Christmas play?

What if each family member did a little research on holiday foods from another culture and shared them at a family party instead of going to an office or church Christmas party?

What if you decided to sponsor a child or donate to a good cause and cut back on the gifts?

Suspend all the judgement of what that Christmas would look like and try it.

See what happens.

Whatever happens, it will be a Christmas to remember.

And this pandemic will pass, it is not here to stay. We will congregate together again.

Next year our calendars will get crowded, we will begin grumbling and complaining about too many activities to go to, and we can think back on our Christmas Experiment. Maybe we will find there are ways to celebrate without stress.

Dr. Paul