So many of us hustle and bustle through the Christmas season that we forget to slow down and relax so that we can truly enjoy the season.
For me, my number 1 tip for truly enjoying the Christmas season is to SLOW DOWN! :) Slowing down can mean doing your shopping throughout the year, saying no to various events, planning ahead, tossing out your ideals, starting and/or maintaining old and new traditions or any number of things. You can’t focus on Jesus and all that Christmas truly means if you’re running around like a crazy woman. Don’t ask me how I know. :)
I also asked a few of my blogging friends, what their #1 tip for truly enjoying the Christmas season was and they had lots of GREAT insight to share! Here is what they had to say:
Carlie @ So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?
Make sure that everything you do is necessary and cut out things that aren’t. My husband and I sit down every season and weigh the things that are vying for our attention – and prayerfully decide what is absolutely necessary and what is not. I have found over the course of the last decade of doing this, I am never stressed out during the holiday season.
Marcy @ Ben & Me
Truly, the best way to survive the holidays is to take your mind off all those things that increase your level of stress and just focus on others for awhile. Be the hands and feet of the Christ child. The blessings will abound, both for you, and for those who receive your love and attention this holiday season.
Amy @ Raising Arrows
Do the little things. Light a candle, play music, sit around the Christmas tree, read the Christmas story aloud to your family. Memories make themselves if you simply take the time to cherish the season.
Jill @ Blessed Beyond a Doubt
Your children will not remember the gifts you gave, but the memories, traditions, and lessons you instilled in their hearts during this precious season. Don’t believe me, ask them what they got for Christmas two years ago. Chances are they can’t even remember what you bought them last year. So don’t let the gift thing destroy your joy while training your children the true reason for the season.
Jimmie @ Jimmie’s Collage
Prune, simplify, and say no. Ignore the voices that say what you should do at Christmas time. You don’t have to send Christmas cards or make homemade sugar cookies, for example, if those put you over the edge. You can choose. From my Christmases overseas, I learned that you can celebrate the holiday without special clothes, extravagant decorations, elaborate foods, and expensive gifts. In fact, simple celebrations where the focus is on people instead of the outward trappings are the most meaningful ones, the ones where you can truly mediate on Emmanuel — God with us. If my party preparations leave me too exhausted and stressed to enjoy the party, I’m doing it wrong.
Tabitha @ Meet Penny
Schedule time for rest and focus. Really consider which activities will benefit your family and decide with your spouse on where you will invest your time. I watch families flutter from parties to musicals to parades to church events and then on Christmas Day, they are exhausted. Be protective of your time.
Sharla @ The Chaos and the Clutter
The thing that helps me most to make the holidays meaningful and less stressful is to simplify and focus on what matters. In order to decide if I should commit to something, I ask myself, “will this contribute to a relationship?” and “does this put the focus on God?”. With these questions guiding me, I may decide to bake cookies with the kids while we listen to Christmas music instead of participating in a cookie exchange or I may say yes to going as a family to the neighbour’s tobogganing party and forego the crowded malls.
Christy @ One Fun Mom
Hold things loosely. We all go into the holiday season with grandiose ideas. If we start missing our self-imposed deadlines we might begin feeling like failures or bad moms. When we don’t get everything done that we wanted to, we reevaluate, simplify, and move on. And bring it back to Jesus. Our kids will remember the things we choose to focus on. If we worry about the gifts and the baking, that’s the part they’ll remember. If we keep bringing it all back to Jesus and focus on the traditions that make that possible, those are the memories they’ll cherish.
Latoya @ LatoyaEdwards.net
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Holiday season can be busy and stressful. I make sure not to get too busy so that I can relax and enjoy this special time with my boys. Spending time together as a family, having fun, serving together and focusing on Jesus. That’s how we stay sane. And a few holiday cookies every now and then don’t hurt either.
Angie @ Many Little Blessings
While this won’t work for most people, one of the things that helps us keep less stressed and more relaxed during Advent is that we see a lot of our family for exchanging gifts and large meals around Thanksgiving because of commitments other family members have. This leaves us with a December mostly free to just enjoy the season and really soak it in. Before this became something regular for us, however, I tried to get as much of my shopping and other tasks done before December started. That way, I could really enjoy it without so much hustle and bustle.
Kelli @ Homeschooling Adventurez
For me, it’s critical to remember the little things that matter most. Sharing family history and taking part in family traditions – even the little ones, is what make this time of the year special. It’s easy to get caught up, so it’s important for me to remember that it’s not all the hype or the “things” I remember most from my own childhood, but the little details surrounding special time spent with loved ones.