Christmas is coming, and there’s so much to do!
If you’re like me, you had every intention to do better this year about planning and getting things done early for the holidays. Presents planned and bought, the house cleaned, decorations up, family visits scheduled and on the calendar…
Alas, things didn’t work out quite as planned. I’m way behind on my list, but
I’ve decided not to stress about it. It will happen.
I want my holiday to be full of peace and joy and fun, not stress. I’m sure you do, too.
Even if you’re way ahead of me in your planning and preparations (and I hope you are!), I’m sure you want to do all you can to ensure a Christmas that is focused on what matters most to you.
With only 12 days left until Christmas Eve, what do you want to embrace, and what can you let go of?
Take a moment and visualize how you want the rest of this month and Christmas to be. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you taste?
I see smiles and laughter from my family. I am well-rested, happy, and focused on the now. I see the tree, decorated and lit up, the stockings hung by the chimney with care, and simple decorations, not stuff everywhere… The house is clean and clear of clutter. I smell cinnamon. My favorite Christmas music is playing, and we are sipping a warm holiday drink.
What words or concepts do you want to characterize this time? Make a list, and then think about how you can invite these qualities into your life now.
Here is my list: Clarity, Gratitude, Minimalism, Simplicity, Love, Fun, and Peace.
Next, think about what your words mean to you and how you can live them out.
Clarity – Make my list, and check it twice.
Gratitude – Be thankful.
Minimalism – Clear the clutter, and don’t go overboard on gifts.
Simplicity – Keep it simple.
Love – Let that be my motivator.
Fun – Play games, sing songs, decorate cookies, watch Christmas movies.
Peace – Take care of myself, keep it simple, and get the basics done soon. Also, let go. Let go of the need for perfection.
Now think about what you can let go of this year. There is no such thing as perfection, and the less stressed you are, the happier your family will be, too.
This year I’m letting go of getting it done in advance. That didn’t happen, and there’s no point in beating myself up about it. I’m also letting go of some of my other projects and to do’s, so I can focus on our family. I can come back to them in January or sooner if I have time.
And I’m letting go of trying to do our cards for Christmas. Maybe we will just do New Year’s cards this year, especially if we want to include a family photo.
Now think of a few goals that you want to make happen the rest of this month, starting today. Write them down.
Next, write down how you can implement your goals.
Here are my goals for creating a simple, fun Christmas for our family.
1. Spend special moments with family.
In what small ways can we make this time a little different from the rest of the year? And how I can make the special times more special? Simple is best, and just really showing up and being present. And not stressing when things don’t go exactly as hoped or planned. Life is too short.
2. Focus on enjoying each moment.
Just pause, look at my children’s sweet faces, listen. Be thankful for each moment we have together and all the blessings we have. Take time to meditate each day. Accept that the moment is all I really have. Enjoy it rather than worry or look forward to what’s coming next.
Make a master list of everything I need to do, and start eating frogs. Do the most irritating, want-to-avoid ones as soon as possible.
Write down things I’m thankful for.
3. Celebrate with fun, meaningful traditions.
Eat good food, make cookies, send cards, read our Christmas books, sing and play Christmas music together, go caroling at our neighbors’ houses, spend time with family and friends, give and receive presents…
4. Let Go
The house does not have to be perfect.
Presents do not have to be copious or expensive.
Food does not have to be complicated.
Cards can be delayed until January–New Years!
5. Make it easy.
I decided to use my list of desired qualities as a jumping off point to think of ways to simplify this year.
Create Your Peaceful Christmas
How do you want today and the rest of the month to be?
You can use the list below. Writing down your answers is a great way to think about the holiday you want to create this year.
1. What special moments do you really want to happen this year?
2. How can you focus on enjoying each moment?
3. What traditions do you want to make part of your holiday this year?
4. What can you let go of this year?
5. How can you make it easy?
I wish you less stress less and more joy this Christmas! Feel free to share in the comments how you are planning to have a peaceful, joyful, fun holiday this year.
Image by Amarpreet K, via Flikr Creative Commons