Faith Journal

Why Must This Be So Hectic?

Why Must This Be So Hectic?
Written by Emily Bredeson

My frustration with the stress of Christmas was building each year. Why must this be so hectic? Why is my schedule so packed? Why do I feel a small sense of relief when the holidays are over? Relief over the end of the celebration of Christ’s birth. Oh, what a terrible thought. That is where my frustration came in.

Two Christmases ago, I was expecting our second child weeks before Christmas. I combined the thoughts of the exhaustion of life with a newborn and frustration of the busy holiday season with the precious moments of snuggling a newborn and quiet moments celebrating the birth of our Savior. Which direction did I want to go? Did I want to fill my already exhausted state of life with distracting to-dos? Did I want to wear myself down so when I showed up to worship the baby Jesus on Christmas I would be too tired to think? Too tired to worship the Savior?

I did a small amount of Christmas shopping before our baby girl arrived, but then gave myself complete freedom to enjoy the quiet of the season. I could enjoy snuggling my little one without having a long shopping list clutter my mind. I could give myself freedom from all the “must-do” activities. I could ignore the hustle and bustle of the season. I could show up at church to celebrate the Advent season and Christmas and be awake enough contemplate the joy of the birth of our Savior. The wonder of our God coming to earth as baby Jesus.

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. – Luke 2:14


That Christmas I withdrew from the worldly expectations. I withdrew from the shopping malls and from the pressure of holiday festivities. I retreated from what the world would say is a festive celebration and instead focused on the quiet of the season. Yes, I was tired from being up at night with a newborn, but getting rid of the man-made pressure of the season gave way to a peaceful celebration of the newborn King.

This mindset is continuing each year. I strive to reduce the holiday stress. I try to plan ahead and keep realistic expectations. I do not strive to do it all, as I know that the perfection would take me away from the reason of the season. I want meaning, not perfection, in my Christmas.

What joy we have in worshipping the newborn babe! What peace we have knowing that our Savior was sent to save us from death and sin!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

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About the author

Emily Bredeson

Emily is lives in the Midwest with her husband and two daughters. She started Morning Motivated Mom to motivate herself to become an early riser. She enjoys spending the early morning drinking coffee, designing printables, and writing about managing time, money, the home and family. She strives to encourage her readers to enjoy their mornings and consider goal setting.


  • So glad for your second girl helping you stop and just enjoy the quiet : ) It is so difficult -especially when some of the things you need to cut out of the are things you do enjoy. We shop all year round (when you see it or think of it for someone, buy it), start cards in September, and otherwise let the fun stuff like movies and cookies unravel slowly. Sometimes so slowly that I still bake after Christmas. No reason to stop celebrating when it’s quiet and as much between you and the Lord as the rest of the world!

    • It sounds like you have a great plan. I agree that baking can last well after Christmas. Although I have baked (and consumed) enough cookies this December, I’m pretty sure I should be done until next Christmas.

  • This was lovely, and also restful to read! Planning is key, isn’t it? And then, letting go. We don’t have to do it all and we definitely don’t have to do it all perfectly!
    Tweeted and pinned!

  • I have chronic illnesses and was forced to do less at Christmastime. I greatly pared down my Christmas card list and decided to give presents to my son and just a few special people. Of course that means I get less cards and gifts but it is all about celebrating the true meaning of the holiday season! Stopping by from the Sharefest.

  • I can definitely relate to this. I love Jesus, but Christmas not so much. Something crazy always happens. This year I had a flare-up of my hip problem Man, how old am I?? But my husband is a steadying force for me. Hopefully, I’ll feel merrier when he arrives tomorrow!

  • What a beautiful way to grasp the lesson of ceasing to strive at Christmas 🙂 I am expecting this year and although I don’t have a newborn yet, even being pregnant and tired is causing me to step back and slow down. I don’t want our first child to enter a life of chaos but one of peace 🙂 #WomenWithIntention