How to save your sanity (and your wallet) this Christmas

Rachel Nafziger

For many people, Christmas can teeter between being the happiest and most stressful time of year. From decorations and parties to finding the perfect gifts, the demands of the season can be overwhelming and sometimes overshadow the joy of Christmas.

Perhaps the best thing we can do this season is learn to say “no” to unrealistic demands that distract us from the true meaning of Christmas.

Three Areas Where We Need Help Saying “No” During the Holidays

1. Presents for everyone!

You are not Oprah. You do not have to buy gifts for everyone you know. And let’s be honest, do people really need more holiday-scented hand soaps?

When it comes to giving gifts, do for one (or a few) what you wish you could do for all. Jesus modeled this principle when He chose 12 disciples (Mark 3:13-19). It doesn’t seem fair that some were chosen and others weren’t, but Jesus understood He had limited time and could not effectively disciple everyone.

In the same way, we need to have realistic expectations when it comes to giving presents. Focus on the people closest to you or those who are most in need. Do for them what you wish you could do for everyone. If you feel pressured because of family or workplace traditions, suggest exchanging names.

Also, remember that thoughtful gifts don’t have to be expensive. A framed picture, homemade cookies, or offering to babysit are often more valuable than a designer candle.

2. Christmas parties and events

We don’t have to go to every Christmas party or event we are invited to. Even Jesus had to say “no” to the requests of others in certain situations. He knew His mission and didn’t let others’ requests distract Him from it (Mark 1:35-38).

Using Jesus’ example, ask yourself if attending a specific event will interfere with what God has called you to focus on this Christmas season. If you have a family, decide together which events are worth attending. Skip the rest.

Acknowledge your limitations and focus your time and money on things that really matter.

3. Giving to charities

Not only do we not have to give to every charity that asks for help during the Christmas season, but we also don’t have to feel guilty about saying “no.” Unless you are Bill Gates, you understand why giving to every charity is not realistic. But we may still struggle with feeling guilty or inadequate in the face of great needs locally and around the world.

This year, ask God to direct your giving. Pray about how you can best use the time and money you have to bless others and share Jesus’ love. Listen to God and do what He says. All He desires is our cheerful obedience (1 Samuel 15:22 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). You should never feel guilty or inadequate if you are doing what God has asked you to do. Remember that God used five loaves and two fish to feed thousands of people (Matthew 14:15-21). When you obey God, He can do more with your gift than you could have done on your own.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, our Savior. It is a time to be thankful for what we have and hopeful for the day when God will restore what has been broken or lost. Maintaining sanity this Christmas is possible with the proper perspective.

How would Christmas change if we acknowledged our limitations and focused our time and money on things that really matter?

Related Content

to Discover More


10 ways to give your time instead of your money this Christmas

serving christmas generosity giving

Jesus calls His followers to be givers and Christmas is a great opportunity to give. As we give, we celebrate... read more

Read Article


How to have the best Christmas ever

salvation christmas peace stress

Close your eyes and picture the perfect Christmas. The smell of fresh-baked goods filling the house. The tree... read more

Read Article


Why Jesus' birth matters to you

jesus christmas missions

How would you describe Christmas in a nutshell? The most wonderful time of the year? Food, gifts, and f... read more

Read Article


The best thing you can give your loved ones this Christmas

money christmas giving

Long lines. An early morning (or late night). Frenzied crowds and major sales. You probably braved Black F... read more

Read Article


Watch the Christmas story amaze your kids

salvation jesus christmas

Have you ever tried to imagine what Jesus' birth was like? Gather your family and friends and see th... read more

Read Article


The survivor's guide to parenting during the holidays

christmas parenting survival guides

Our best wisdom, tools, and tips to handle the unique challenges of parenting through the holidays.

Read Article


Three reasons Christmas is the perfect time to invite someone to church

evangelism church christmas inviting

At this point in the Christmas season, most of us are scrambling to buy and wrap last-minute gifts. We’... read more

Read Article


Feeling the pressure to pick out the perfect gift?

christmas generosity giving

After starting a new job in a new city this fall, I’ve learned a few things about myself. In the past f... read more

Read Article


Giving First

From First

Jan 28, 2019

generosity giving tithing following jesus blessing

Money feels more like a curse than a blessing to most people. It doesn't have to be that way. In this mes... read more

Watch Sermon


Something For You

From Something For You

Dec 24, 2018

salvation jesus christmas gospel

All of us experience pain and brokenness. Our common response is to blame others, blame God, or blame ourselv... read more

Watch Sermon



From Do You See What I See?

Dec 25, 2017

jesus christmas giving

Christmas is about three things: the gift, the giver, and the response. Jesus is God’s gift to us, and ... read more

Watch Sermon

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am