Preparation Around a Christmas Tree

Every year most of us get ready for Christmas by putting up a Christmas Tree in our homes. This preparation can be a lot of work and some even devote a whole day to find the perfect family Christmas tree. We can go out to a Christmas tree farm and drag our families through the field. We can go to the hardware store or even break out the artificial tree out of the attic. Whichever way we go to decide upon a tree, it takes a lot of preparation and intentionality.

So, if this tree takes a lot of work, why do we do it and what can we learn from putting up the tree? Perhaps it’s a nice family tradition that happens every year. Our family wakes up early on a Saturday and goes out together to find the perfect tree, we play Christmas music, decorate together, and have a cup of hot chocolate. Maybe we look forward to how we will feel when the tree is decorated and we can enjoy it together.

Although we have good memories and traditions, things can get busy very fast and that’s where the holiday stress comes into play. I was looking at some data around how we feel over the holidays:

According to a 2015 Healthline Survey, 44% of people say they are stressed during the holidays, with more than 18% reporting they are “very stressed.” In contract, the American Psychological Association found that 8% of people say they are happier.

In order to embrace the holidays, many people start with the Christmas tree. Much like we prepare our tree, we can prepare ourselves for the holidays. The vast majority of us want to feel present and peaceful during the holidays. To feel peace, we might say to ourselves, “all is well.” To experience peace, we might focus on ways to transfer the peace to others, so that they might feel it too. Tell others around you to “take your time” or “I will wait for you, no rush.” These sentiments can help to calm a hurried heart.

When you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed, go back to the steps of how you prepared the Christmas tree. One step at a time, taking small steps to get our gloves, find the best tree in the lot, trim the branches, cut off a section of the trunk, and secure it to the car. Once the tree is in place at home we feel a sense of accomplishment. The addition of the lights and ornaments ignite some fond memories.

With small steps and a bit of intentionality, we can prepare ourselves to be present and embrace the holiday season with our loved ones!

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