Summary: The myriad of emotions as Christmas create a time of stress, conflict, frustration, and dissatisfaction. How do we deal with these emotions?

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LUKE 10:38-42

Introduction: Perhaps no other season lends itself to such a myriad of emotions as Christmas. The holidays can be a time of stress, conflict, frustration, and dissatisfaction causing emotions to intensify. Holiday Stress for many is all too real. Martha and Mary experienced many of the same emotions we experience at Christmas when Christ came to their house for dinner. What are these emotions and how do we deal with them?

I. The Emotions of Christmas

A. Anxiety

1. The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season can be a time of tremendous stress and anxiety. Everyone running around at a frantic pace trying to get everything ready for the Holidays. Worrying about what Christmas gifts to buy, getting the house clean, making out Christmas Cards, baking cookies and planning the big Christmas dinner all add to the holiday anxiety.

2. The joy and good will of Christmas turns into anxiety as individuals worry about the ability to buy expensive presents and host family and friends at their home. We feel there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. We may be struggling with debt that will only get worse when all the credit card bills come in January.

3. Anxiety often is accompanied with depression.

4. Depression happens when our grand holiday expectations collide with the reality of squabbling in-laws, sullen teenagers, disappointing gifts, missed loved ones, and over-limit credit cards. It happens as soon as we hear the sound of relatives resuming their old familiar, dysfunctional roles in the family. – copied

5. Luke 10:40a “But Martha was distracted with much serving (by her many tasks)…”

B. Anger

1. Anxiety and depression often give way to anger.

2. The trappings of Christmas season often portray the holiday season as a festive and fun time, free from troubles. In reality, however, stress, family difficulties and anger quite often escalate during this time.

3. Someone wrote, “It’s hard to be a Christian in the last few weeks before Christmas, when the Christmas rush really gets bad. It’s hard to really act like a Christian when you’re desperately trying to find a parking spot at the mall... It’s hard not to lose your temper... It’s hard to turn the other cheek.” - copied

4. Note the tone of Martha’s words in Luke 10:40b “...Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."

5. Martha was angry because Mary wasn’t doing what she felt Mary ought to be doing. She actually scolds the Lord for Mary’s actions.

6. Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. - B. Franklin.

C. Sadness

1. For many there is a sadness that comes as they have experienced the death of a loved one, a divorce in the family, the serious illness of a family member, or other circumstances too numerous to mention. The holiday season for some families, becomes a time that adds focus to the sorrow.

2. This sentiment is expressed in the blog writings of a young girl, “I really don’t know why but every year when Christmas is coming I start to feel sad. I like the lights in the street and that atmosphere but I feel alone... maybe if I had someone to spend Christmas with it will be different... but I am alone..” - copied

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