ADHD and Peace at Christmas

Christmas Peace

It’s December, and as some of you already know, it can become the busiest, most overwhelming, and stress filled month. There are additional social get togethers, Christmas fine arts events, potlucks and baked goods to prepare, decorating, and gift buying.

I’ve never been a big believer in Christmas being about Christ. I don’t believe Christ is the reason for the season. I always ask people, “If you didn’t receive any gifts, and you didn’t have a big Christmas meal, and no one invited you to their Christmas parties. If you had nothing at Christmas except Jesus, would you still be happy?” I doubt that most professing Christians would be happy if they didn’t receive any gifts or engage in any secular Christmas activities; and this is why I don’t believe that Jesus is the reason for the season.

I’ve learned that with ADHD Christmas can easily become an overwhelming season that leaves us depleted rather than replenished. The additional stress of having to remember things, planning for different tasks and events, schedule changes, a poor diet of holiday goodies, and less sleep is not healthy for those struggling with executive functions and additional disorders such as depression and anxiety.

If you really want Jesus to be the reason for the season, then give yourself the gift of self care, step back, and use your extra time to slow down. God isn’t calling us to celebrate the birth and life of Christ by engaging in excess consumerism and wearing our self out with busyness. Remember, Jesus has given us his peace, not peace in the sense of an absence of war; because that is not what he was talking about. What he has given us is a gift of internal peace where he invites us to come alongside him to offer our burdens to God. God gives us strength to make it through the day and face any challenge, but we also have to use the wisdom of His spirit in making decisions about what types of burdens we will invite into our life.

God knows and understands that having ADHD limits how much extra we can handle in our life. Let Christ be your focus at Christmas and his peace will be with you. Those hectic days will be replaced with a sense of peace that guides you to make healthy decisions about what to say yes to and what to decline during the holidays.

I encourage those of you with ADHD to give yourself permission to slow down during the busyness of the season. Refocus and make intentional time for Jesus. Every year I re-read the story of Jesus’ birth, John the Baptist, and some passages from the Old Testament where the prophets assure us that our God is a god of fulfilled promises; as He certainly is.