When K and I make plans for a big date night or vacation, or I’m planning a crazy party or preparing for the holidays, or when I just feel like I’m lagging behind as far as being a good wife/daughter/friend/dog parent goes, I put a massive amount of pressure on myself. It’s an ugly, unkind, nagging pressure.

And I’m only so big and strong, so sometimes that pressure leaks out and it morphs into a carping, badgering, stressful attitude. And I stain everyone and everything around me: the dogs, K, my family. And to add to this toxic pressure, I’m fully aware of the insanity and I bury myself in guilt for not controlling my thoughts and behaviors.

Christmas Grace

I know it’s not just me. Last week Erin touched on this kind of pressure and it’s effects. It’s absolutely maddening and poisonous and draining… but when you’re a Type-A perfectionist (or even a Type-B perfectionist), it’s an annual monthly weekly pressure.

But that night, however long ago, buried in straw and blankets, a baby was born. And that baby wasn’t born so that our cutout cookies could rival Martha Stewart’s. He wasn’t born so that I could gift the perfect toaster oven to Aunt Beth. He wasn’t born so that I could scrutinize the placement of every single ornament. He was born for me and for you and for your neighbor and the guy at the gas station and the woman from the homeless shelter. If the tree slants and the presents look frumpy and the ham is over cooked it’s ok- because regardless, He was born.

Whatever your beliefs- whether they mirror mine or not- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cheers to you and yours. Enjoy the imperfect, crazy, messy moments this holiday. Dismiss the pressure and make room in your heart for joy.

Whether your holiday morning is spent around a tree with your significant other or around a table with your 35 family members, make it a good one. Try to replace the nagging with gratitude, the greed with selflessness, and the pressure with joy. We’re not perfect, but that baby is. And because He is, we don’t have to be.

Enjoy the holiday, friends. You are loved.


A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

12 thoughts on “A Little Christmas Grace

  1. This is wonderful… I love it ❤
    I have been trying not to let the Christmas stress over take me but it always weasels in… need these little reminders for that Grace to flow… that's why Christmas happened – for Grace to abound even more 🙂


    1. October is typically my stressful month (and there’s no real “reason for the season” in that month) so I usually get so, so overwhelmed with life. When I feel that same pressure creeping in in December I do everything I can to relax and slow down and reflect 🙂


    1. Thanks, Lindsay! I wish I could always remember to just chill out… but I totally struggle with this, too! I think my church’s Christmas Eve service is what finally calms me down after the holiday stress has built up.


  2. this is so great. I know that you get me on this so well, and your post just rings so true for me (as you know). but grace goes a long way to helping, and I think we get even more of it around this time of year if we just remember to ask for it. merry christmas lady!


    1. Absolutely 🙂 I think I ask for more grace, forgiveness, help, and patience this time of year than any other! But Christmas is always so wonderful so it really does work out in the end. Merry Christmas to you, too!!


    1. Upon further thought I guess I should’ve said, “…but that baby IS.” I get so overwhelmed sometimes but slowing down and remembering why we’re even celebrating in the first place never fails to cool my head. Thanks, Chelsea! Merry Christmas!


    1. Thanks, Erin 🙂 I always feel the true magic of Christmas on Christmas Eve, but when I remember “the reason for the season” while PREPARING for the season I tend to keep it together (mentally) better.


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