Instead of adding one more thing, why not slow down and simplify this Christmas season? Use these Christmas celebration ideas to savor the season.
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Just one more.
This wasn’t the original plan. I was going to take two trips. But as I started to put the plastic grocery bags on my arm, I keep thinking “I can do one more.”
And then I was so close to getting them all that I just couldn’t seem to stop myself.
Loaded down with plastic bags containing a grocery cart’s worth of food and determined to make it in the house, somehow I miraculously closed the CRV trunk without dropping it all.
Did I make it? Yes.
But did I feel the bags cutting into my arm like a plastic knife? Did I come close to dropping it all? And did the dogs almost run out of the house as I fumbled my way through the door? Uhm, yes to all that too.
By continuing to add just one more, it wasn’t long before I was foolishly carrying too much.
I wish I could say that only happens when it comes to grocery bags, but it doesn’t. I can do that in many areas of my life including celebrating the holidays.
Just one more thing.
Just one more thing.
Sure we can look at each opportunity and think, “Yes we can do that…it isn’t that much.” And it might not be. But when you add a bunch of “not much” it can add up to a little too much at some point.
So this Christmas season, let’s not keep adding one more thing. Instead, let’s truly celebrate Christmas by slowing down, simplifying, and savoring.
Celebrate Christmas by slowing down.
We can slow down by…
1. Saying no. It seems we can spend our time just rushing from one activity to the next. We feel guilty for saying no to invitations for parities, ministry opportunities, and all the other things that come with the season. But it is OK to say no! (I’m speaking to myself here. “No” has never been easy for me, but I’m learning to do it anyway.)
Because the reality is, when we say yes to one thing we are always saying no to something else. That something else might be family time, school time, or down time—but we are making choices. Let’s make those choice intentionally by thinking through what we truly want to say yes (and no) to.
2. Being fully present. When we are busy, we can have a hard time not thinking about the next thing that needs to be done. And in this world that is so distracting, it is hard to focus on what is right in front of us. But I don’t think any of us want to look back and realize we missed out on all those little moments that mean so much more in the long run.
3. Taking a day each week to rest. Personally, I’ve cut down when it comes to getting on Social Media on Sundays. I don’t schedule things to my business page. Why? Because we all need to rest. And for me, things like Facebook and Instagram are too closely related to the work I do to be restful. Do I love connecting with people? Yes! It’s part of the reason I love what I do.
But we all need to rest even from some good things in order to experience His best. The principle of rest is woven throughout the Biblical narrative. But do we really take it seriously?
Related: Dear Mom, Are You Tired?
Celebrate Christmas by simplifying.
We did this with our decorations years ago. We decided we only wanted to keep the things we loved, brought us joy, or helped us focus on Christ. The idea can be applied to any area of holiday celebrations though.
- Is this something I love?
- Does this bring us joy?
- Does it help us focus on Christ?
In each of the following areas, we can ask these three questions—
1. Traditions. If you can’t decide what traditions to continue and which ones to let go of, have a family meeting and ask your kids what is most important to them. They may just surprise you with their answers. And remember, if you miss a tradition one year, it is OK. The most important thing isn’t really what we do, but who and what we focus on—our family, friends, and savior.
2. Homeschool. We often want to celebrate the Christmas season with special learning opportunities. But when we try to do those on top of everything we normally do, we will be overwhelmed. And our kids will be overwhelmed and frustrated, too.
This is the perfect time of year to do something different, but still educational. Try some of these Christmas Learning Activities to Finish Your Semester Strong.
Celebrate Christmas by savoring.
Savor means to “enjoy or appreciate (something pleasant) completely, especially by dwelling on it.” How can you savor the beauty of the Christmas season. How can we savor the true meaning of it all?
I want to give you a free gift to help you do just that: Savor the Season – Family Faith Pack
As a homeschooling family you need flexibility when it comes to resources. And that’s how Savor the Season—Family Faith Pack is designed. You can tailor it to fit your family’s needs to prepare your hearts for the Christmas season.
In it you’ll find::
- A 3 week Scripture writing plan for you and your teens including journaling prompts
- Coloring pages for your little ones
- A family reading plan to coordinate with the coloring pages
- A variety of notebooking pages that can be used for copywork or dictation, Scripture writing, journaling, and prayers. (With drawing space for kids!)
- A copy of the 7 day devotional An Emptied Life.
Keep celebrating beyond Christmas.
This is a great resource to help you celebrate not only Christmas, but holidays throughout the year. It contains practical tips to help you experience “less chaos, more Jesus” in your family celebrations.
Holidays are meant to be more than chaos with glimpses of grace; they are meant to draw us closer to God and one another. We want all the whimsy and joy the holidays held when we were children, before life crowded it out. We want the holidays to reflect our love for Jesus and reveal the grace that has been lavished on us, but life is so busy that setting a game plan just doesn’t happen.
Choose the best thing.
Give your family and yourself a gift this Christmas season. Choose deep connection over frantic flurry. Slow down, simplify, and savor as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.