Are you going to be frazzled due to waiting until the last minute?
Stressed out because you are trying to balance too many commitments?
Exhausted since you are burning the candle at both ends of the stick?
With the holiday season in full swing I have been thinking a lot about my home, my family, and the memories that we are making.
Peace and Presence have been heavy on my heart.
I don’t want them to remember the frazzled/stressed out/exhausted and grumpy version of me.
I want this holiday season to be savored and enjoyed.
I want my kids to have fond memories of crafts, baking, and relaxing.
I want them to enjoy delicious foods, cozy up for a great movie, and sled their little hearts out.
I want to give them my best.
After all, I only have 7 more Christmas seasons with all my little people living under my roof.
We have to be intentional about this sorta thing.
In order to achieve Peace and Presence this season I am going to strive to be three things…
Simple – Throughout the year, we strive for simplicity as a family, the holiday season is no exception. One example would be… for 6 years now, we have only given our kids 4 gifts each Christmas. The four gifts are something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. It has taken the stress out of shopping and the kids start putting in their categorial requests very early on. We have also simplified things like coordinating Christmas outfits (Yes, we just pick something Christmas-ish right out of the closet before church. It’s ok, you can do it too.)
Prepared – In an attempt to be better prepared during the holiday season I try to do as many things as early as I can. This includes Christmas cards (our photo doesn’t include snow, that’s ok), shopping (thank goodness for Amazon Prime), and wrapping (bags are acceptable). I have to be intentional about this since I love, love, love giving gifts… It is my way of showing someone I love, adore and appreciate them, However, I don’t want it to be something that causes stress or a burden for my family. Running all over town, with a car full of kids, days before Christmas, in order to bless others is not a blessing to my people. Often times simple and prepared go hand in hand. Not everything has to be handmade and perfectly wrapped. (Let it go.)
Content – One way we try to focus on what we have versus what we want is by giving. Jesus is the reason for the season and since we are His hands and feet, we get out there and use them. During the Christmas season we set up a hot cocoa stand (think lemonade stand, but with hot cocoa) and raise money for Living Water International. We started this last year and the kids did great. They watched a video at church and saw the need, when we talked about it at home they wanted to do a lemonade stand… since we live in the Rockies we modified it to a hot cocoa stand. We raised hundreds of dollars last year and hope to do even better this year.
I want to keep my eyes, heart, and focus on Jesus.
I want my kids to be able to follow my lead.
I want them, and the rest of the people I encounter this season, to feel the love of God radiating from my presence.
I am striving for a simple, less stressful and more peaceful season. I am striving to have time, energy, and my undivided attention to give to people. I don’t want to be in a hurry, too busy, or in a constant state of hustle.
What about you? Are you already stressed out and overwhelmed?
Are there anyways you could simplify, prepare, or be more content this year?
What are some things you do or implement to keep the holiday season focused on Him?
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