It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? I think it should be and it can be but often the busyness leaves us going through the motions and feeling tired longing for it to be December 26th so we can just breathe again. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some ways for you to ENJOY celebrating Christmas this year.
- Write down your expectations. It may seem silly, but it’s so helpful! What are you truly longing for? Time spent with family? A beautifully decorated house? Gifts? Be real with yourself and write it down. What do you want to remember next year or 5 years down the road?
- Set a budget. Instead of stressing over the bill you’ll get in January, set a realistic budget for your family and do your best to stick to it. How can you be creative with your gifts this year? Your 2 year old isn’t going to know the difference if their gifts are from the Goodwill. Where can you cut back if needed?
- Prioritize. What are the most important things you and your family will do this year? I’ve heard this analogy before and I like it. Imagine you have an empty glass jar to fill with rocks and sand. Your most important priorities are the rocks and you must put those in the jar first because if you fill it with sand first and then try to put the rocks in, they won’t fit. So before committing to the things that are lesser priority make sure you’ve carved out room for the most important things.
- Be okay with saying no. Your friends know that you are one person, limited with your time and energy. If the thought of trying to attend 3 Christmas parties is too much, just go to one. If you feel bad, tell that friend you would love to reschedule time to get together in January.
- Schedule in rest times throughout the month. Seriously, it will make such a huge difference. To enjoy Christmas you need to feel rested yourself. Whether it’s an extra hour in the morning for snuggles with the kids, time for Christmas movies, or just sitting by the fireplace enjoying your family you will feel so great being able to rest. It may feel funny scheduling it in, but if you don’t something else will always come up.
- I’m all about Christmas traditions but are there some that you’re doing that no one enjoys? Or are more work than they are worth? Or just aren’t realistic at this point in your life? It’s okay to cut them out, or skip a year. Really!
- Take a moment at the end of each day for gratitude. What were you thankful for that day, even the smallest of things. Gratitude always brings perspective.
- Spend time reading the Christmas story every morning. We need to remember why we celebrate and WHO we are celebrating. I love reading from Luke 2—the message version.
- Give back. Whether it’s your time, your skills, or your money, you can make a difference in someone’s life. Take your kids to buy gifts for kids that may not be getting any that year or volunteer to help feed the homeless. Whatever you do is an opportunity to love, to give back. And in giving you get filled up yourself.
Practice a few of these things this year and notice a difference in your season. Don’t let it be a stressful Christmas, but may it be enjoyable, filled with hope and reason to celebrate. May there even be a little magic to your Christmas this year when you celebrate with those you love.
What about you do you have any tips to help us stay sane and thrive through the holiday season? We’d love to hear them below or on our facebook page!