Peer pressure is usually something we see in teens, we teach our teens to not succumb to it, and we are greatly grieved when they do!  However, I think peer pressure as an adult, on into our aging years, is still present and still just as detrimental to our mental, spiritual and physical health!  Hopefully, we’ve outgrown the pull to do bad things with a bad crowd of friends, but what about the pull to perform or produce?

The Christmas season is a time when the pressure is on, and here are a few reminders to steer clear and stay true to who you are and what’s best for your family:

Maybe they’re not giving gifts this year, or they’ve “outgrown” gift giving and only give to the littles.  That’s fine.  But if you still enjoying giving and getting and all that jazz, do it.  Don’t let what they do sway you.

Maybe she’s decorating her house with five Christmas trees, baking cookies and freezing them, and doing all the things and you start to feel anxious that you won’t even get your one tree up before Christmas.  Lay that anxiety aside in favor of savoring the season.

Maybe she’s just handed you a homemade gift she’s put together for you, and you have nothing to give her in return.  Don’t run out and grab something, just say thank you and enjoy that something.

Maybe this pandemic has you staying cautious and you’re not gathering and socializing, like they are with their friends and family. They can’t believe you’re “living in fear.” Shed those judgments like water off a duck’s back and rest in what you know to be best for you and yours…

Maybe she’s started a diet plan and talks about it constantly and how much weight she’s shed, and you’re in your kitchen baking homemade bread because you want to.  Enjoy that homemade bread, and let her enjoy her new self…and continue to be friends.

Maybe she’s spent thousands on a home renovation and she’s showing pictures on social media of her closet that’s bigger than your family room, and you start looking at your home with downer eyes.  Lift up your eyes and give thanks for the beauty that’s yours, in your home, and your space.

Maybe she’s lonely, this other friend lost her job, a neighbor has Covid and your own parent is declining, and you feel an ungodly amount of pressure to give all and be all and do all to help all.  You can’t.  But He can.  And he will help you choose wisely, and leave the rest up to HIM.

I don’t know what makes you feel peer pressure.  If you never feel any, I’m applauding your maturity.  But many of us still do, from time to time, when we listen, watch and hear what others are doing – and then we gripe, feel less than, and  pity our own situation.

Tis the season to rejoice and give thanks in all things, and it’s amazing what those two things will do to bring peer pressure down to a low simmer and eventually calm waters…and peace will emerge in our hearts.

Merry Christmas.

Peer Pressure
by Marcy Lytle

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