Isn’t Christmas time just lovely? It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas music, lights, parties, family time, decorating, hosting, oh my! It’s just a fun season!
But… there is often times a little thief in the night who tries to sneak in the back door during this season. He often disguises himself as perfectionism & comparison, and loves to prey on unsuspecting women and especially mothers, stealing their joy & wonder during the holidays.
Christmas is a time where those of us that struggle with perfectionism may find it rearing it’s ugly head more than usual. Wanting to have the perfect tree, the perfect decorations, host the perfect party, have the perfect party outfit, have the perfect family photos, buying the perfect presents for our loved ones. And before you know it, one thing leads to another and our perfectionism is out of control — leaving us stressed, exhausted, and stealing our joy.
Perfectionism and comparison often go hand & hand. We compare our lives with others, and are left feeling like we don’t quite measure up. Comparison is the doorway to envy, longing for what other’s have, rather than being grateful for all that we’ve been blessed with. Jealousy is toxic to our hearts, disconnecting us from all that God has for us. If we’re so busy looking at everyone else, we forget what is right before us! As the saying goes, “comparison is the thief of joy” — because that’s what it does. It robs us of the precious gift of joy. And during such a happy season, the enemy loves to sneak his way into our hearts and try to steal our joy from us. But not today, satan!
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. [Proverbs 14:30]
So what can we do? Below our three things I do when my I find myself slipping into patterns of perfectionism & comparison during the holiday season.
- First, I turn my thoughts and mind to what really matters. Christmas isn’t about presents or parties or decorations or any of that. Christmas is about celebrating the coming of Jesus. The birth of our savior. But sometimes it’s easy to get distracted, to get caught up in the season… but focusing why we celebrate in the first place helps remind us what is really important.
- Next, I choose gratitude. I give thanks and praise for all that I have, for all God has done for me, for blessings big and small. Choosing to be grateful helps us focus on what we have, not on what we lack (or at least what we think we lack). If we can train our hearts & minds to be grateful, it will leave little room for comparison and envy to sneak in!
- Finally, I remind myself of who I am in Christ. I may struggle with perfectionism & comparison at times, but that is not who I am. I am a daughter of the king, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image [Psalm 139:14]. God’s perfect love is not dependent on me being perfect, so there is nothing that I have to prove or earn – for Him or anyone else. I remind myself of His perfect love, and allow that love to cast out fear of not being enough. Fear of not measuring up. And then I receive the full acceptance and love that He offers, and allow it to wash over me.
So, with that said, Merry Christmas! I’m blessing you & yours with true peace, joy, and wonder this holiday season! Enjoy every perfectly imperfect moment with your family, and give thanks to a God who came to restore the world!