Aaaah the holiday season…. how sweet it is! It is a beautiful time of year. Music playing through the air. Picture perfect decorations outfit windows everywhere you go. An increased number of giggles can be heard as children get more and more excited with each passing day.
But there’s also the stress of the holiday meal. Aw man, I didn’t get the outfits for the Christmas pictures yet. And what about all of those parties? And who’s even thought about Christmas shopping? Wait — I signed up for a secret Santa gift exchange too? How am I going to do it all?
As beautiful as this time of year is, instead of joy and excitement many experience angst, stress and a great sense of overwhelm. Instead of being able to just BE and enjoy the holiday season, our days are filled with running from one task to the next DOING something. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s one of the fastest ways that you can get to burn out.
PACE YOURSELF DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON.
As wives and mothers, we have a natural tendency to feel like we have to be the resident expert at whatever we put our hands to. If our children are active in sports, we jump in as the team mom. Or the one who organizes the socials, orders the uniforms and plans a party for the team, coach and the families. Sometimes we are the mom that will teach art or science in the homeschool co-op. We will also be the mom that drives 4 girls to gymnastics practice while helping our preschooler with sight words and making our grocery list. We don’t have to do this.
During the holiday season, multiply the number of “obligations” by 10. But as much as there is that’s happening, it’s even more important that you take time for the things and people that matter most. Rather than thinking about the next thing that I have to do, I choose to be intentional about being present and focus on making memories with my family. You know what I have found when I do this? I actually ENJOY it.
The time you spend with your children each day doesn’t have to be scripted or scheduled. Instead, family time can take place intentionally in many different ways during ordinary interactions between parents and children, whether it’s rocking a baby to sleep or driving a teenager to the mall. Even in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, you can make moments that matter.
EMBRACE FAMILY TIME.
During the holiday season, families tend to have more time together because of work vacations and the kids being out of school. ENJOY IT! Try not to over-schedule yourself. You can make your favorite sweet treat (Christmas rice krispies have always been a hit at our house.) Go to your favorite Pinterest board and get some cool DIY gift ideas that you can make together. Start a new family tradition.
Children will not remember all of the material things you provided. Yes, those toys that were part of the doorbuster sale on Thanksgiving Day may soon be forgotten (and broken.) However, they will remember the feelings that you cherished and enjoyed spending time with them.
They will remember the delicious smell of cookies filling the kitchen. Or the epic fail when your 3 year old dumps an entire bag of chips into the batter. Believe me, I know. But the best part is that these are the type of things where the laughs surrounding them will keep coming for years. I love that!
EMBRACE WHAT LIES AHEAD.
Be intentional with what’s ahead. Everyone is in a hurry because we have a lot more to do this time of year. And I have to admit, a lot of it is fun stuff — music concerts, Christmas parties etc. As I see the busyness in all of its splendor, I still take a step back because I want to be intentional in the small, meaningful moments with families and friends.
The holiday season is a lot of fun but it can also bring up a plethora of emotions for many. Loved ones may be ill or not here anymore. Christmas may look and feel different for you. I know it does for me. Just this year, we had five family members pass away. It’s hard, friends. Very hard. When I reflect on that, it causes me slow down. It makes me step back and look at everything around me. I stop and think about things and it helps me to realign myself with the real reason of the season.
The holiday season means different things to different people. And while all of the extra stuff that we fill our calendars with may be fun, it’s in the smallest moments that we find joy. It’s in that moment that you are having coffee with a friend that you share one of the best laughs over a story she did not share on social media. (Yes, real connecting!) You may receive the best Christmas card ever made by a 4 year old. You may look through old pictures and laugh at outfits you wore, gifts you received or reflect on a treasured memory.
Take some time to be present this holiday season. Every day may not be easy. But by being intentional and present for those closest to us, we can be sure that we will get the most of each moment, every single day. What a gift that is!
How are you intentional during the holiday season?
With a cold latte in hand and my latest read under my arm, I'm usually seen running around chasing little people. In my spare time, you will catch me spending time with family and friends, at live music festivals and on the hunt for a new favorite dessert.
Latest posts by Angel Penn (see all)
- 3 Ways to Be Intentional during the Holiday Season - December 18, 2017