Christmas in July: Why Plan for Christmas Early?

Though it’s only July, I am indeed thinking about Christmas. This isn’t an attempt to contribute to “Christmas creep” (the phenomenon of retailers exploiting the commercialized status of Christmas by moving up the start of the shopping season); it’s an attempt to avoid a chaotic Christmas season so my family and I can maintain focus on the real reason we celebrate.

Why Plan for Christmas Early | An increase in stress during the Christmas season is experienced by 38% of Americans. With a little advanced planning, this stress can be mitigated.

The hustle and bustle of Christmas can be very stressful. A study conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research revealed the following:

  • An increase in stress during the Christmas season is experienced by 38% of Americans.
  • This stress is disproportionately felt by women: 44% percent of women report an increase in stress compared to 31% of men. Women report having a hard time relaxing due to preparations associated with family celebrations (e.g., gift shopping, cooking, cleaning).
  • Individuals of both genders who report an increase in stress around Christmas are more likely than those who don’t experience increased stress to worry about money and buying gifts.

Our chief focus at Christmas should be celebrating and worshiping the Savior whose birth we’re commemorating (Luke 2:1-20). I don’t believe that spending time with family, eating traditional treats, exchanging gifts, or decorating are necessarily in conflict with worshiping Christ and celebrating His birth. However, we can lose perspective and begin putting too much emphasis on these activities.

An increase in stress around Christmas isn’t inevitable. Moreover, time with family, traditional treats, gifts, and decorations can be used to augment our focus on Christ instead of detracting from it. This is why I’m taking steps now—months before Christmas—to plan and prepare. Join me in looking at 4 topics over the next 4 weeks.

Christmas in July 2013 topics

What is your approach to preparing for Christmas? Do you wait for the last minute or do you begin early? If you begin early, what sort of tasks are you able to address ahead of the Christmas season?

Comments

  1. Charlotte Thiel says:

    I still send Christmas cards and even with the price of postage which does, indeed, make it a little pricey, I figure I don’t stay in contact with many of my recipients very well or often and I really do think they are worth 50 cents. I also think getting a card is not enough when they only hear from me once a year so I write a letter. I used to write them individually but the first letters were long and informative and the last ones not so much, so I have defaulted to a typed letter so everyone gets the info and then I try to write a personal note on each one addressing the particulars of their family and what of my family might interest them that I didn’t share with everyone.

    It is a process. I actually try to write the letter before Thanksgiving since after it becomes so busy and rushed. Then I wait until the end of Nov. or early Dec. to re-read it. This is when I catch mistakes or can add or make changes. I can print, sign, add notes, fold and address much faster.

    I love the idea of you doing the entire Christmas in July thing. We won’t have time for the hints come the Holiday season!

    • Shannon says:

      I’m glad you’re excited for the series. I know I am!
      I think Christmas letters are a great thing to think about in advance. You can take note throughout the year of things to include in the letter.

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  1. […] Welcome to the second installment of Christmas in July 2013. If you missed the initial installment, which included an explanation of the purpose of Christmas in July, you can see it here. […]

  2. […] in this series, including the explanation of the purpose of Christmas in July, you can see them here and […]

  3. […] fourth installment of Christmas in July 2013. You can read about the purpose of Christmas in July here. Links to the previous posts in the series are located at the bottom of this […]

  4. […] final installment of Christmas in July 2013. You can read about the purpose of Christmas in July here. Links to the previous posts in the series are located at the bottom of this […]

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