Do holiday gatherings freak you out?
Ever feel like breathing into a paper bag just before walking through the door of a family party?
Does your idea of a party consist of you on your couch, in your jammies, with hot chocolate while Netflix-ing some Christmas movie?
Are you a shy introvert like me?

Well then, here are my six best tips for surviving a holiday gathering – work, church, school, friends, family or whatever:

  • Pray that God will help you be yourself throughout the entire day.
  • Pray that God will help you remember that he is standing by your side with his arm around you.
  • Treat every person you talk to like an interesting stranger. If small talk isn’t your thing, have a couple open-ended questions at the ready.
  • If you’re asked a question you don’t want to answer or a topic comes up that makes you feel uncomfortable, you are allowed to say, respectfully, “I’d rather not talk about that.” You might want to practice this one ahead of time.
  • Remind yourself that you’re a grown-up and you can leave whenever you need to, no questions asked. Or if leaving-leaving isn’t an option, you can always lock yourself in the bathroom for a five-minute deep-breathing/come-to-Jesus session. Hypothetically. So I’ve heard.
  • Remember what this holiday is all about; not the gifts or the food or the outfits or any of it. It’s about Jesus and what he’s done for us, bottomline.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6

It’s not too late to grab your copy of Holidays for the Hurting: Devotions to Help You Heal.