Managing Holiday Stress and Family Dynamics- Tips from an Expert

Hi Ladies,

I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Laura Taggart, one of the wisest, godliest women I know with some great advice for us on reducing holiday stress as we head into Christmas this weekend. We’ve spent a lot of time this month sharing about the true meaning of Christmas and encouraging each of you to prepare room for Christ’s coming (me), ditch the things that are unimportant (Molly), and spend some time in silent contemplation (Laura Thomas).

Not only is Laura Taggart a dear friend, she’s also an incredibly accomplished lady! For the past 26 years, Laura has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical supervisor at Community Presbyterian Church in Danville, California. She earned her M.A. in Theology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Southern California and earned her B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles. For the past 10 years she has taught counseling at Fuller Seminary, Northern California. She also serves as an adjunct professor for the Evangelical Theological College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Laura has also served as Director of Marriage and Family Ministry at Community Presbyterian Church in Danville where she founded a Marriage Mentoring ministry. She has a big heart for young marrieds and delights in training mentor couples to pour their lives into young couples offering them a model of a healthy, vibrant Christian marriage.

We’ll hear more from Laura about her awesome book in January, but today she’s got five quick tips for us to help manage holiday stress as we head into Christmas and the new year.

5 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Stress

  1. Simplify! Whether you’re entertaining or buying gifts- less is more this time of year. Agree with family members to draw names and buy for one and a pot of chili with loved ones is better than an impressive four course meal that takes you away from sweet conversation!
  2. Start a new tradition. It’s fun to find one thing this season that will add meaning and fun to your celebration. Take time to see some “over-the-top” Christmas lights or start a “Friends and Family Bowling Night” with no food prep and lots of fun!
  3. Limit your commitments. Some engagements during the holidays are life-giving and some are obligational. Enjoy the first and severely limit the second.
  4. Be a team when it comes to family visits. If you’re visiting your family, ask your mate what they are looking forward to and what they are hesitant about or, at worse, dreading. Then, together, make a plan to mitigate the negative.
  5. Serve those in need together. This helps keep the material emphasis of this season in perspective. As a family, make up gift bags of travel size toiletries and a $5. Gift certificate to McDonald’s and put them in the car for those occasions when you drive by a person in need.

There’s also a Facebook Live Laura created on this same topic you can watch here.

Laura, thanks for sharing these great tips with all of us at Missionary Mama!

Ladies, may this weekend be full of festive cheer as you celebrate  God’s extraordinary gift to us, salvation through his son Jesus.

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