What a magical time of year we are currently living (surviving?) through. Just kidding … although it certainly feels like we are doing our best to make it from day to day sometimes.
Regardless, there’s no denying how truly special the holiday season can be. For those with children, especially young ones, we strive to fill the days with memorable moments … ones that are awe inspiring and bring pure joy to those we love.
We exhaust ourselves (as well as our bank accounts) to show loved ones just how much we love them. We buy presents, create presents, bake goodies, and even make special gifts by hand. We decorate to perfection, throw festive parties, and do what we can to make the holiday season stand out.
Even though we do our best year round, many feel pressure to make things extra special come November/December. No wonder we endure so much internal chaos and strife. It all comes from the best intentions and a place of love, but it doesn’t ease the anxiety. However, there are ways to lighten the load…
Take a Moment to Pause
This time of year can be so hectic. There is barely enough time to buy gifts, grocery shop, attend parties – let alone relax. I find myself using my normal quiet time to make crafts for loved ones, DIY decorations, and holiday projects for the kids.
While our tree is up and “decorated” (if you can even really call it that), everything else falls flat. The entryway is somewhat festive, and there are random Christmas-y items throughout the house – but there are zero lights outside and the wreaths are non-existent. I planned on making/buying wreaths. The only problem is I have yet to find time to stop by Hobby Lobby (or anywhere else for that matter). It amazes me how I can forget since I look at, ooooh roughly 15 of those bad boys, every time I step out my front door.
My cul-de-sac holds some pretty awesome neighbors, whom I adore. They all managed to finish decorating by the 1st of December (unlike me). But, in my defense, they don’t have two preschoolers running circles around them all day.
What I am pretty proud of throughout it all is my sanity level. I’ve learned how to pause and breathe. I know how to remember what really matters.
Why do I need to fill every single waking moment with something I feel like “needs” to get done? I don’t.
Sure my to-do list is longer than my kids’ Christmas wish list, but I’d much rather feel peace than frantically exert energy all. day. long. Those little must-do’s can wait, because this mommy must do something for herself so the Grinch doesn’t come out and ruin Christmas.
And it’s usually nothing more than some quiet time to read or meditate. Can I get an Amen?!
There is SO much competition during the holiday season to have the Best. Party. Ever!
Or to give the Best. Present. Ever!
How about the Best. Decorations. Ever?
The décor seems fancier with more sparkle every year. Don’t get me wrong, I love some sparkle but feel like I have to buy new decorations every holiday season just to stay in the game. I drive around and admire the way people decorate and string lights in their front yard to tell a story, wishing I could do the same.
But I can’t.
I’m honest with myself and effort I put in. And why try to compete with someone else?
I am doing my best. As long as my kids are happy, I am happy. They certainly are not comparing my work to everyone else, so why do I feel the need? Keep the blinders on and stay joyful in all your accomplishments.
There’s nothing more relaxing or brings you back to your center than to spend time outdoors. The clean air, the gorgeous sunlight, those sweet birds chirping … it’s amazing.
Once I started to slow down and appreciate everything the universe has to offer, I started noticing it’s special little signs. A beautiful butterfly randomly fluttering by brings me to memories of my mom.
Actually, it’s not so random but more of a spiritually comforting way to feel closer to those important.
Since my mom passed away, I’ve searched for ways to feel connected to her. I wanted to know she was always with me. I asked, and she delivered … with yellow butterflies. They show up when I’m really missing her, or in those special moments with my kids. It’s the most magical and comforting experience.
Nature brings me closer to God and the present moment. There is nothing better than enjoying time outdoors with the ones I love. Watching my kids play together and seeing butterflies around them is far better than sitting in front of the television or stressing about wrapping paper. What makes sense is using the flower my daughter found outside as part of a present or including it in the wrapping of one.
There is No Wrong Way to be Festive
In today’s society, there’s so much judgement about how people chose to live their lives. Every decision is scrutinized. Everyone has an opinion. I’m no different, but I try to remember I don’t know everyone’s situation, and not everyone knows mine. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate, decorate, or live life!
We all make mistakes, but the grace of God allows us to do better in any given minute. Yes we should celebrate, make things super pretty, and have fun with those we love … but let’s not forget the real reason surrounding the holiday or overlook those special moments to be present.