The holidays are in full swing and most of us are running around here, there and everywhere.
Daily life is fully loaded with “To Do’s” and with Christmas in the air, there’s lots more added to the plate!
Somehow, Christmas has evolved into a party going, card sending, cookie baking, gift buying, gift wrapping, Elf moving, time of year. I’m sure there’s more I can add to that list, but you get my point. Many of us are trying to figure out how to balance it all, while hoping to get a sense of holiday spirit.
You’re reaching for that feeling from when you were a kid, because it felt sooo good. Back then you knew it was Christmas time, because it was in the air, and it was palpable.
The truth is that just like all else…the holidays were much simpler when you were a kid.
All you had to do was enjoy the spirit of Christmas. Maybe sing a few songs, be with family, wake up and open gifts in your PJs, and possibly go to a party where you had a great time. Whatever you did, bottom line is that it was warm, cozy and heart filling.
All I can personally remember was the overall feeling I had during this festive time of year. Christmas season felt like I was wrapped in a blanket, watching a winter wonderland all around me. It was mystical, and I loved everything about it.
Then adulthood kicked in, and with it came all the running around that comes with responsibility. But after rocking that boat for a while, I chose to put the brakes and change it up a bit. Even though I am an adult, I deserve to enjoy Christmas too. I must sound like a whining toddler, but the truth is…why not?
And so, with each year, I am inviting in less…in order to enjoy more.
That means, it is okay to say NO to traditions, parties, expectations, etc., and here’s how:
1. Less parties to attend, allows me to spend more time with my family in a more intimate setting, or just by being home;
2. I don’t need to be the only school mom that prepares 15 teacher’s gifts – ask for help, and minimize the tasks;
3. Online shopping done over the phone/tablet/computer. It saves time, gas, and sometimes even money with all the great online sales. (The other day I ordered gifts, while I was waiting on line in the market – talk about multi-tasking, and how smart-phones rock!);
4. Focus on Faith. It is Christmas after all, and a time to celebrate Christ’s birth and his spirit;
6. If dinner is at your house – consider making it a potluck where everyone brings their favorite dish to share. You could purchase the drinks;
7. It is okay if your holiday cards go out late. People will keep up their cards through the New Year and after, so no need to rush and go crazy;
8. Remember that this time of year when we shine light during a time of darkness. Perhaps light a candle before bedtime, and say an affirmation with your children. Or even a visualization – depending on their age;
9. Read seasonal books that share the story of your tradition, religion, or the spirit of giving. I usually take out all our Christmas books, and then store them away shortly after the New Year.
There’s more that I can add here, but I’m sure you are beginning to get an idea of what you can do to simplify your own traditions and expectations.
I prefer to leave the children out of the hussle and bussle, and the consumerism associated with the holidays. This way they too can experience the true meaning of this time of year. Modern technology can be a wonderful tool when it comes to gift shopping without kids!
Regardless of which way you celebrate the holidays, something that I feel is important to bring into it, is the spirit of generosity. This can be created in various ways. Some choose to donate, others give gifts to toy charities, but if you are unable to make a monetary donation, you may want to consider offering your time at a soup kitchen.
My kids are considered to young to volunteer in a soup kitchen, but we recently found a local person that has created a way around this by putting meals together days in advance in her home (commercial kitchen – she’s a cook). This year, our kids will have the opportunity to contribute, and be a part of what it means to give, and help those in need.
There is nothing more heart – filling than volunteering to help others. And this is the gift I would like to give to my children, and to those that can use it. If there is anything worth making the time for, I would say it is this.
It will stay in their heart, and they will one day look back at their warm Christmas memories, as they will smile knowing it was one of their favorite times of year.
I invite you to not only simplify and soak up your holiday, but to also make lasting memories with your children, so that they can continue to pay it forward for the next generation.
If you could simplify in just one way, which way would it be?
Please share and motivate the rest of us in the comments below!
In the meanwhile, I wish you continuous blessings for a wonderful holiday season.
With all my love,