Being BUSY, especially during the holiday season, has become something of a status symbol, according to researchers.

Most of us are busy enough- then the holidays arrive. “Wait!” We cry. “Thanksgiving is just around the corner??” We barely finish roasting the turkey, making Aunt Martha’s fresh cranberry sauce and grandma’s pies before we’re thrust into overdrive as Hanukkah and Christmas come barreling towards us.

Suddenly, we’re busy baking, partying, shopping and wrapping presents. We hustle our kids or grandkids from one Santa to the next. From one set of holiday lights to another. To the local Polar Express. To the Nutcracker Ballet and the live performance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I heard a speaker recently talk about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed at the holidays. All the choices are good – but must we choose to participate in all? Afterwards, a group of young moms and I debriefed. These young women (who I have the privilege of mentoring through MOPs) face great pressure to up the busy ante at the holidays. Social media is awash with fabulous ideas.

I wondered…what if I had said no during the holidays when I was a young mom to all the things I thought I should do? What if I had raised my kids instead to be excited that December was the time of year we all looked forward to slowing down? To nights playing games or watching movies? To weekends of walking on local trails or the beach or in our neighborhood at night?

One of my favorite childhood movies was “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Poor Charlie Brown can’t even pick out a good Christmas tree. He cries out in frustration, asking “What is Christmas all about anyway?” And Linus tells him the story of shepherds simply watching their sheep when suddenly a an angel appears bringing good news that would be for all people.

Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of one night of pure oil lasting for eight nights in the temple lamps. This didn’t happen because someone ran around to all the malls or looked online for purified oil.

Even the Grinch awakens on Christmas morning to discover that Christmas came to Whoville without any presents. “Somehow or other, it came just the same!”

I’m seeing a trend here. Are you? Want to join me in a new December posture – one that has us relaxing on the couch more. Ready and waiting for Hanukkah and Christmas to come.