How to Deal with the 5 Biggest Christmas Joy Stealers

As the weeks pass and we begin thinking about Christmas celebrations, Christmas decor (and all the hustle and bustle of the holidays), I need to ask you something that’s heavy on my mind this time of year.

Do you enjoy Christmas?

Now, I know you know the right answer to that question. In fact, I’m guessing you might say something like this:

“Sure I enjoy Christmas! Christmas is about family, traditions, and fun and that’s all a good thing.”

But what I’m really asking is:

Do you ever feel like there could be more to Christmas? 

I’m asking because for many years I felt like I missed the true meaning of Christmas.

TIRED of STRESSFUL CHRISTMAS? Want more out of your holiday celebrations? Discover WHY so many Christians lack Christmas joy (and what to do about it).

Oh sure, my family and I went to all the Christmas celebrations and bought the right gifts for everyone.

We made the cookies and did the cute Christmas crafts. We went to all of our church’s Christmas events with a “Merry Christmas” greeting to all.

But every year I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something deeper we were missing. Something intangible. Something whose absence left my heart thirsty and dry.

More than one year, I woke up on December 26 feeling empty and exhausted, wondering, “Was that it? Darn. I missed Christmas. Again.”

Can you relate? Do you know exactly what I’m talking about?

I started asking around and it turns out that many other Christians also felt this way.

In fact, I couldn’t find one who didn’t feel like this.

5 Christmas Joy Stealers

I started thinking about why: Why are so many of us struggling with this? What is keeping us from heartfelt, soul-quenching Christmas celebrations?

It seemed to boil down to 5 things:

  • Saying Yes Without Saying No. Instead of slowing down in other areas during Christmas, so many of us just add more to an already overflowing schedule. Which adds to stress, overwhelm and craziness (three things hardly conducive to the Christmas spirit).
  • More Activities Equals More Fun. We clamor to shove in more “Christmas fun” because we believe that more activities equals a better Christmas experience for our families. But all too often, more activities (even good ones) become just more distraction from what our hearts really need–time to slow down, process, savor and enjoy the simple miracle of Christmas itself.
  • Must-Dos That Aren’t Must-Dos. We each seem to have developed a mile-long list of “must-do” Christmas obligations that leave us feeling exhausted instead of refreshed. We have to visit this person. We must participate in this event. And let’s not even get started on all the “must-purchase” gifts.
  • Too Much Materialism. And speaking of gifts, we find ourselves caught up in the madness of finding the right presents (and of course the right amount to spend on each present). Instead of being a joy-filled act of love, gift giving has become a tit-for-tat ritual that consumes what should be a season full of simple reflection and meaningful activities with loved ones.
  • Same Old Story. We have no idea how to add freshness to the same Christmas story we’ve told our kids for years. With a glazed over look in their eyes, even our youngest kids can say, “Yep, there’s a baby named Jesus who is born in a manger. Got it.” But do we really understand the living, powerful significance of that treasured event? Do we allow ourselves to experience it anew each year, asking God to reveal to us how that incredible event can change our lives right now in this current moment?

Anyone, anyone? I can almost hear your head nodding as you read this.

The Answer to Our Longing Hearts

Here’s the situation: We all seem to be feeling this way, but none of us knows what to do about it.

And so we continue on, content to placate our longing hearts with a new Christmas cookie recipe, the latest Christmas CD from our favorite artist, and sparkly decorations on the fireplace mantle.

But what we really need is more Christ.

Not more nativity sets or perfectly decorated Christmas trees.

We need God incarnate.

Just like in that ancient village in Israel, today we Christians desperately need a miraculous touch come down from the heavens to light up our dark, cold, chaotic world.

Discovering a Different (and Better) Christmas Experience

But here’s the thing: We can’t find this true meaning of Christmas in the current way we celebrate. We’ve got to do Christmas differently.

We’ve got to be willing to individually examine every aspect of our Christmas celebrations and ask ourselves: Does this bring our family closer to experiencing God’s miraculous joy found in the birth of Christ?

That is the question my family and I have been asking ourselves for several years now. And we’ve found this to be the path to discovering the authentic Christmas joy that we’re all searching for.

It’s been a process of letting go of what we don’t need to embrace what we really do.

And while we’re not here to judge what “should” or “should not” be a part of any Christian family’s Christmas celebration, we can testify that laying everything out on the table and asking, “Is this really necessary?” has brought much clarity and beautiful simplicity to the Christmas madness.

2 Secrets of a Christ-Filled Christmas

My family and I have discovered that a holiday season centered around Jesus is composed of two key elements: actions and atmosphere.

Actions are those activities that tangibly allow you and your family to interact with the true Christmas story; while atmosphere is the welcoming environment we create in our homes to reflect the true meaning of Christmas.

I want to introduce you to a simple solution for how your family can truly create actions and atmosphere centered around God: the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System.

In fact, I developed this resource as a direct result of my family’s struggle to discover a richer, fuller Christ-based Christmas experience.

Christ centered christmas family traditions

The Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System is a set of powerful, beautifully designed printables that help your family create meaningful Christ-centered activities and establish a spirit-filled atmosphere throughout the holiday season.




It includes:

  • A fun 30 Day Countdown to Christmas Bible Study
  • 30 days of Christmas Acts of Kindness Activities
  • Scripture response tools, including journaling pages and a inductive Bible study
  • Adult and child Christmas-themed coloring pages
  • Beautiful, Christ-inspired Christmas home decor pieces
  • and so much more!

In fact, there are over 143 pieces in the system and they can all be used interchangeably to create a myriad of Christ-centered holiday activities and fun!

experience more Christ and less chaos at Christmas! meaningful Christmas family time and time spent together growing in God!




The system contains fun and easy-to-organize activities that allow us to learn deeper truths about the Christmas story and thus encourage our family to grow closer to God!


Christmas bible study

For example, the 30 Day Countdown to Christmas Bible study (along with the Scripture Response Tools) allow your family to experience God’s rich presence as you respond in fresh new ways to the Christmas story.


christmas acts of kindness

The 30 Christmas-themed Acts of Kindness Challenge gives your family simple-but-powerful ways to actively live out the truths of Christmas.



And the Birthday Gifts for Jesus activity is a wonderful Christmas morning activity that helps your family keep the birth of Christ forefront in your celebrations.




And what about that second element–creating an Christ-based atmosphere?

christmas home decor

When we use tools like the 5 x 5 or 8 x 10 Home Decor Printables to create banners, dry erase boards or other Christ-infused Christmas home decor, we’re inviting God’s spirit to minister daily in our homes.

banners christmas home decor



Simple Christmas-themed decor pieces (like hanging scripture cards from a ribbon or decorating a light fixture with Christ-themed printables) serve as simple messages of encouragement about the true meaning behind the season.




Remember, it’s not about including more in your Christmas. It’s about welcoming in the right elements.

It’s about saying yes to those things that celebrate authentic Christmas joy and bring your entire family closer to Christ during this season.

And this system makes it really easy to do that.

Not only does everything coordinate and work well together, it’s also easily organized by section so you can find just what you need.

Plus, the system contains both a guidebook and a list of 50 ways you can use the printables to create incredible Christ-filled experiences for your family!

There are also 4 different how-to videos so you can see firsthand how to create these incredible Christmas memories as a family. Here’s one as an example:

Truly, the Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System has everything you need to welcome more Christ and less chaos to your family’s Christmas season!

I highly encourage you to check it out and to re-discover that deep, heartfelt Christ-centered Christmas that you’re longing for!





P.S. RIGHT NOW through November 2, these incredible resources are available for special launch-only pricing!

Plus, I’m throwing in this FREE gorgeous “Merry Christmas” banner when you purchase by midnight November 2!



Why pay more? And why not get a BONUS product!

Be sure to get your Christ-Centered Christmas Family Traditions System by November 2!



About the Author

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging women, married couples and families with practical tips for growing closer to God during holidays like Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Alicia is the owner/editor of both and; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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