When You Feel too Overwhelmed to Enjoy the Holidays…

Holiday Season: The approximately 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s when our lives are so chaotic, we nearly forget what we are actually celebrating in the first place…


The struggle is real…

At Christmas time, we have every intention of acknowledging the birth of Christ and the hope and love we have through Him. However, the holidays can often trigger feelings of stress, loneliness, & depression. This then leads to over-analyzing, over-looking, and over-spending. Instead of reflecting on He who rules the earth with truth and grace, we hyper-focus on the distractions and obligations which rule our lives.

In the name of transparency, I’m totally guilty!

Here’s a practical example to which many can relate. I have six to seven Christmas parties I’m attending this holiday season. I love social gatherings! I love Christmas! So it’s exciting and energizing for me! The only downside: With each different gathering- I need to buy, make, and bring a certain outfit, food, and gift exchange present. It’s a lot to do! It’s a lot to buy! It’s a lot to remember! Add on everything else in my crazy life, and I feel like I need a seasonal errand runner and accountant just to help me pull it all together this holiday season! Why couldn’t Christmas come with a personal assistant?


The Solution is here…

Here are some things I’m trying to remind myself…

1- Remember, the pressure is off of you. The whole point of Christmas is Christ– His birth, His life, and His purpose for coming. And one of His main purposes in coming was to take your burdens off of you and place them onto Himself (Matt. 11:28-30).


2- Remember, it’s supposed to be joyful! We don’t merely acknowledge or observe Christmas; we celebrate it! Think about the songs we love to sing this time of year (the ones that aren’t about Santa or snow). These beloved tunes are often referring to “good news”, the refreshment and redemption of our souls. This is what we are intended to feel…

Tidings of comfort and joy!

Peace on earth and mercy mild.

Joy to the world!

All is calm; all is bright.

A thrill of hope.


3- Remember, Christmas is Jesus’ birthday; it’s not a personal measuring rod for how well you are doing in life. It’s a celebration of hope and love; it was never intended to make you feel bad about your current stage in life.

I get it. I’m single. If my original life plan had fallen into place, this would be my third married Christmas… This will, in fact, be my 25th single Christmas! Another pajama party with the siblings at the home of mom and dad!

Holidays have this funny way of acting like milestones, where we analyze our failures and successes based on “where we thought we would be by now”. I encourage you, let yourself off the hook.


For me, my Christmas season may not be the next Hallmark movie script- where the perfect man swoops in and helps me budget, cook, and shop for all my holiday parties and reunions, while escorting me in a one horse open sleigh! But hey… I do have Jesus! And He offers me strength, comfort, clarity, and hope AT ALL TIMES. I’m seriously thankful He was born and am forever grateful that He lives!

Merry Christmas!!!

Elizabeth Whitley




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11 thoughts on “When You Feel too Overwhelmed to Enjoy the Holidays…

  1. Dear Elizabeth

    Just read your blog post “When You Feel too Overwhelmed to Enjoy the Holidays…”

    You’re right.

    This is a season where many of us are busy.

    I’ve taken a different approach this year, so I avoid the being stressed this year.

    Your message in this blog post is an important message for Christians because being busy is one of the most significant problems among Christians today.

    But as you say, we’re all guilty of this; but it’s good, to be honest about it and experience that we’re not alone with the problem.

    Your life is filled with Christian parties, right? 7 – I have one or two.

    Perhaps a personal assistant would be the answer, as you suggest.

    Your three points are excellent, my favourite was number 2.

    God bless!
    Edna Davidsen

    • Thanks so much for reading and for your feedback, Edna! It’s true, compulsive busyness is such an issue for many of us! As you stated, it’s good to be honest about it and to approach it or combat it effectively! Have a blessed day!

  2. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for the great reminder of what this season is truly about—Jesus’ birthday! Yes, our over-commercialized, frenetic holiday pace seems to neglect the very reason why we are doing all these things in the first place. One thing that I have recently incorporated into our holiday traditions is the lighting of the Advent Candles each Sunday leading up to Christmas. I cannot tell you how beautiful this little ceremony we do is! I focus on what the Jews originally celebrated when lighting the Jewish candles: the First Coming of Christ. But now, we focus on His Second Coming. We eagerly anticipate the day when Christ will return and bring His kingdom to Earth, so that the saying, “Peace on Earth”, can be finally realized.

    May God bless you this season with “personal peace” in your remembrance of all the good things He has done.

  3. Yes, I think we need this truth reminder everyday through the holiday season because it is so easy to get overwhelmed. I have heard some complaints from friends recently about the parties and the shopping and I just want to have words of truth and grace and also encouragement for them to see the good in it. Thanks for sharing this.

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