Three Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas

If your family is anything like mine, Christmas is filled with as much hustle as it is happiness. Here on Christmas Eve, there on Christmas Day, back here on the Sunday after. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hustle. I don’t mind it a bit in my day-to-day. But, the rush of the Christmas season can become overwhelming and easily overshadow the real joy we should be celebrating. This is, in my humble opinion, how to ditch the stress this Christmas and really celebrate.

1. Relax.

I mean really relax. You see that fluffy thing over there by the window? The sofa? Sit on it. Oh, there’s laundry in the way. That’s okay. Grab a cup of cider and kick your feet up, if only for a few minutes. We are busy folks, the holiday season should be a time to slow down for once. Unplug the computer, forget about the shopping list, and take some time for yourself. For your heart. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad // Proverbs 12:25

2. Say “No”.

My husband and I often feel pulled in hundreds of different directions during the holidays. We both have large families and want to spend time with everyone while we can. Though we cherish this time together to celebrate, it becomes nearly impossible to see everyone on Christmas. We have learned to say “no”. It’s okay to celebrate Christmas with some family members a week before or after. The point isn’t to cram everything into the day of our Lord’s birth. The point is that we celebrate and rejoice in it together. Even if it is on a Thursday night at Olive Garden. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them // Matthew 18:20

 3. Give.

Whether it’s buying a gift for a co-worker, cooking a meal for someone in need, volunteering your time at a nursing home, or donating clothes or toys to the less-fortunate, God has called us to give. All too often, the incredible gift of Jesus’ birth is snuffed out by what is under the tree. The joy I have opening my own presents is so tiny compared to the joy I feel when I give, no matter how small. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ // Acts 20:35


Now, if I can just hold myself to these three little reminders this Christmas. Tell me, how do you ward off stress during this busy season?


Mattie at


(photo credits // 1 // 2 // 3)


It’s About Time

Well, hello! This is my first time here at Allume and let me say how excited I am about being here! I joined the team back in August but have been living in a whirlwind adjusting to having my husband back home (Army wife, here), the end of graduate school, the end of one job, the beginning of another, and – you know – being a wife, sister, friend, teacher. All that. The reason I’ve been MIA is the very topic of today’s little post.

I tend to plan my days down to the second. The exact moment I can sleep til before I’m late, how long my car should heat up before I leave, how many minutes it takes to drive to work, how much time I can teach before the bell rings, how many minutes milliseconds I have to run to the bathroom, how many hours until the buses come, how long I have to make dinner, how long I can blog before bed. You know this drill. 

This need to plan second-by-second can quickly spread from just my day to my life as whole. My paper business is my passion. But, running the business at night leaves me often praying for “that day” when it will support our family on its own. Though I never forget to thank God for His blessings in my day, I find my prayers filled with quite a few “when?”s. Lately, more than ever, the Lord has been showing me that though I may logistically plan the happenings of my day, my life is on His time. And, y’all, what is so bad about that? 

I’ll tell you what: that I’m not in control.

My selfish heart wants to pick my own “that day” where Puddleduck miraculously pays all our bills. I want to know the next step, the next chapter. Lately when I find myself grumbling about the ambiguity of my path, I can truly hear God reminding me that He’s got this. Not the check-on-me-every-now-and-then kind of ‘got this’, but the hold-me-in-his-arms, mold-me-perfectly-in-his-will kind. Then, just like that, I go from disheartened and unconfident to uplifted and oh so faithful. I remember that I don’t have to know. I don’t have to make things happen. God gave me the heart and talent to do what I do, He will use me as He sees fit. Which, is better than anything I ever have in mind. every. single. time. 

I’m learning to stop asking “when?” and start praying for a trusting, patient heart.