Q: You'll probably think something is wrong with me, but I'm already dreading Christmas, although it's still months away. We always spend too much, and we wear ourselves out entertaining. How can we make Christmas less hectic? -- Mrs. J.S.
A: There's nothing wrong with you; I suspect many readers are already dreading Christmas -- and for the same reasons you are. It shouldn't be this way, of course; Christmas should be a time of joy and peace. The Bible says that when the wise men found Jesus, "they were overjoyed" (Matthew 2:10).
What should you do? First, take practical steps to schedule your time wisely, and also to get your spending under control. I know that's easier said than done, but now is the time to plan ahead and think through what you'll do (and not do) -- not when you get in the midst of the season's busyness.
Make a budget -- and stick to it. Learn to say "no" to things you don't really need to do. Set aside time to do things you'll enjoy as a family -- a holiday concert, an evening looking at the Christmas lights, a special program at your church.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to recover the true meaning of Christmas. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who came down from Heaven to save us from our sins and bring us back to God. If you have never done so, turn to Jesus Christ and by faith ask Him to come into your life -- and He will. Then make Christ the center of your Christmas. Take time every day to read about His birth from the Bible, and to thank God for the gift of His Son. The Bible says, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15).
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)(c)2017 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.