Here we are on the EDGE of the holiday season! Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is just around the corner.

If you're like me, we usually start out feeling THRILLED that the holiday season is upon us. I mean, who doesn't love turkey and mashed potatoes, cranberries, and the smell of a fresh pumpkin pie….

But, after the initial rush of excitement (it might happen within a few days or within a week or two), most women, who are already feeling like they're living on the edge, may find themselves feeling like they're freefalling into a big black hole of added responsibilities.

These responsibilities may include:
  • Cooking some (or all) of the Thanksgiving meal, and making sure this time it tastes and looks good!
  • Getting the house clean for the family get together, and getting the toy boxes and closets rid of the clutter to make way for all the new stuff you'll all get for Christmas.
  • Shopping for gifts for family, friends, teachers, mailmen, and everyone in between…
  • …and then wrapping the gifts, and figuring out where to put them all—under beds, in corners of the basement, in the laundry room, in the attic, etc. Certainly somewhere away from where the cat and dog can chew on the bows.
  • Attending church musicals or your children's school play (not to mention finding the perfect costume!).
  • Trying to get your kids to sit still long enough, without making faces, or pinching or poking each other, so you can take the PERFECT family picture.
  • Finding recipes for cookies you haven't baked since last year.
And the list goes on and on. Did I read you this list so you could slip over the edge right now? No, I simply wanted to remind you that this time of year, we're all challenged to live MORE on the edge than we already do the rest of the year as wives and moms.

I don't know about you, but when I get a bazillion more things added to my plate, it can make me feel edgy! So how can we live on the edge—without being edgy? Let's see what the Bible has to say about it.
When I was upset (edgy) and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.
(Ps. 94:19 The Message)
Do you know what the word "edgy" means? It means to be easily irritated or upset, jumpy, jittery, overly-sensitive, tense, uptight. Make sure you're not hyperventilating…anyone so bad they need some CPR?

Let me give you some holiday CPR to help "calm you down & cheer you up" so you can live on the edge this holiday season without getting edgy!

Chill out!
What do I mean to "chill out"? Quit trying to make sure everything is so PERFECT during the holidays and instead make sure everything is FUN for both you and your family!

What do you think your kids would say makes your family holidays so fun? What will you all smile about in years to come? Do you think it will be the fact that you decorated the tree to perfection?

What memories will they have of what their mom was like from Thanksgiving to New Year's? Will they be memories of mom scurring around and saying, "Not now, can't you see I'm busy!"?

Do fun things like letting your kids have popcorn late at night and sleep in sleeping bags next to the Christmas tree. Or, let them wear their new Christmas Superman pajamas all day, even when the rest of the relatives come over.

I wish I could say I've always been the queen of "chilling out" during the holidays, but even though I didn't always get it right, I do think somehow I have majored more on fun than on perfection.

For example, I try really hard to never get on edge over the meal! In fact, even though it's the holidays, for dinner my family uses our nice kitchen dishes I have that can be put in the dishwasher—not the china that has to be hand washed. That's a decision we all made back when my mom had the holidays at her home.

The bottom line is whatever you do, however you do—chill out, be yourself, and decide how you want your holidays to go. Then make changes to avoid getting edgy and have some FUN!

Prepare ahead!
"Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind" (Prov. 21:5 The Message).

Careful planning means just one thing to me—you first figure out your budget so you know how much you have to spend. Decide with your husband ahead of time on your limit and stick to it.

It doesn't matter what anyone else is spending. Don't let peer pressure put you in debt because that only makes you edgier once all the bills come and you don't have the money to pay them.

Then you make a list that has everyone on it you need to buy a gift for, and you make another list that has the ingredients you'll need to buy in order to make the foods you'll need for the holidays, and finally another list of what extras you'll need, like tape or ribbon.

And you carry the lists with you, so when you see something on sale, you can look at your list and say, "Yea, I need something for him and that fits right in my budget!"

And THEN you cross them off your list, take the present home, cut off the tags and put it in a box with their name on the top of it, so you don't have to open all the boxes up later on to find which one goes to whom.

That's careful planning and it "puts you ahead in the long run." Being organized doesn't take nearly as much time as it takes to be disorganized.

Rejoicing with Singing!
There's no better remedy for edginess than this. I know exactly what CDs to put on when I'm feeling edgy. One of the people in the Bible who probably had to deal with edginess all the time was the psalmist David. Why? Because King Saul was always hunting him down and trying to kill him!

We read the psalms, but they were songs that I believe helped David live on the edge without getting edgy.
Give me a map, So I can find my way to of your presence, To enter the place of worship, (to) meet my exuberant God, (and) Sing my thanks with a harp, magnificent God, my God.

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face.
(Ps. 43:3-5 The Message)
That's what rejoicing with singing will do for you!
  • It'll take you into the place of His presence.
  • It'll remind you of what a magnificent God you serve.
  • It'll get your mind back "out of the dumps."
  • It'll put a smile back on your face, even though there may be tears streaming down your face because you've just been reminded of how much He loves you.
So chill out, prepare ahead, rejoice with singing and have a wonderful holiday season!

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