Is it just me, or did December sneak up fast and I don’t have hardly any presents purchased and ohmygosh, Christmas is less than four weeks away! I’m blaming the late Thanksgiving, though the truth of the matter is that it happens to me every.single.year.
Last night we strung lights on the tree. Amidst the chaos of digging a basement (they should be finished today!) and the normal controlled craziness that comes with our Fab Five, I totally have the best excuses for letting the holiday stress get to me.
But I’m not gonna. And neither should you. This is a beautiful season, friends, and I refuse to let worldly stresses suck away my joy! This is how I’m fighting back. Care to join?
Being intentional with the four weeks leading up to Christmas is a surefire way to focus on the season. Whether you light an Advent wreath at suppertime or purpose your afternoons with a Truth in the Tinsel activity, any Reason for the Season efforts will not be wasted on the family.
Some of my favorites are in last year’s Christmas gift guide: One Wintry Night, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Christmas in the Big Woods. Reading classic Christmas books with the family is the stuff memories are made of! I know the hectic bedtime rush and the need (yes, the neeeeeeeeed) to get everyone in bed, but I’ve never ever regretted a moment spent reading with my children, at Christmastime or any time. If that routine has fallen by the wayside (it has for us!) maybe pick it up again with a good Christmas book?
Play Christmas Music
Is there anything more fun than belting out a loud “Glorrrrrrrrr-orrrrrrr-orrrrrrrrr-orrrrrrrrrr-ia” with the kids? Yeah. No. When things get crazy around here and there are hateful words, spats, and all manner of negativity (yep, we’re a real family) music will often put a halt to the problem. Or at least it will drown out the screamers. Christmas music is a good thing, and hey, I’ve heard it before: “He who sings prays twice.”
I know, I know. There are music programs and caroling in the park and Christmas cookies to be made and gifts to take to neighbors and parties to attend and just All Of The Things! We’re right in the middle of it all, too, but can I just remind us all that it’s our choice? Really, it is. If you’re in a Go! Do! season and it’s all fun and enriches your celebration, then by all means. Go! Do! But if it’s not? If it’s stressful and stealing your energy and joy? I’m giving us all permission: Just Say No. And remember, when you say No, you are really saying Yes to other things (like rest and sanity!).
Let’s not let stress steal this season of joy and preparation, friends. Take back your advent. Take back your Christmas! Are you with me? How are you preparing?