I have already heard it from a handful of friends, Here comes the busy months! or Our calendar is already so full. or How will we do everything?
All good, beautiful things! My heart is feeling this tug, though, as I look ahead to our own holiday plans, to be more intentional with my choices and my attitude.
What are a few ways I can make it a little simpler? And with simplicity, even sweeter?
Focus on the real meaning of the season
Thanksgiving – gratitude for all of God’s many gifts. And if it’s been a season of hardship, then thanks for His person, life in Christ, and the fresh mercies for us every single day. Jesus born as a child, a beautiful image of humility. Coming to live a perfect, sinless life, to then die on a cross, taking God’s wrath in our place, to later rise from the dead, giving us new life in God. Father, help me not get caught up in the spending and decorating, the planning and rushing. Give me eyes to see Your beauty and glory.
Plan simpler gifts
I am not that great of a gift giver. You need encouragement, prayer, or a pep talk? I’m your girl. Gifts? Not my strong suit. But, in this aim for simplicity, I’ve already started a list of gift ideas for family members and friends. Thinking a little more in advance give me freedom, and time for creativity, and also time to save and set aside money for said gifts. On the other hand, I’ve found how much I love to create unique things for people… giving small pieces of myself, your time and energy and joy.
Be thoughtful and honest with our schedule
For me, a full schedule says lots of time with the people I enjoy — not at all a bad thing. But maybe we give ourselves grace, and choose to attend only the parties, events or gatherings that mean the most to us. Give ourselves permission to slow down and stay in with a cozy blanket, a crackling fire and our favorite Christmas movie once in a while. While sometimes I find myself wanting to do everything, be everywhere and see everyone during this time, I remind myself, and you, it’s also okay to say no.
Don’t worry about purchasing any new Christmas decorations
Since our first holiday season as husband and wife, to now, I have one tupperware container full of Fall and Christmas decorations, and a small one for ornaments. Every time I look at them I smile, so I ask myself, why do I need more? If I truly enjoy the ones I have, I should be careful to not allow store discount emails and television advertisements pressure me in buying more seasonal decor. Simple can be the better sometimes. Not rushing ahead solely to fill up my home will also probably mean acquiring things that are personal and special, not just on sale at Hobby Lobby.
Do my best to be fully present wherever I am
Taking a breath and being fully present for each experience. From a walk in the cool weather, to gift-giving with loved ones, to enjoying your favorite seasonal snacks. All of it is grace. This season comes and goes so quickly, in what seems like days we’ll be looking back wondering where the holidays went! I know we each desire the season to be memorable and lasting, so rather than getting overwhelmed with to-do lists and tasks, let’s strive to enjoy the moments before us to the fullest. A favorite tradition of mine is having a gingerbread house building contest with all my adult cousins. It’s hilarious and always memorable.