The holiday season is meant to celebrate, to slow down and to embrace precious time with family and friends but it too often gets overshadowed by the flurry of non-stop activities and the commercialization of this joyous season. How can we, as mothers, embrace this season, not with holiday stress and anxiety, but with the love and joy it deserves?
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My December calendar is quickly filling up. I’m sure yours is filling up, too. With holiday parties, cookie exchanges, shopping for presents and traveling to visit relatives and close friends, there isn’t a lot of time to take a deep breath, relax and rest in the hope, love, and joy promised by this season. I want to love the holiday season. I really do. But the reality is that I often get overwhelmed just thinking of everything that needs to get done.
As moms, our energy and focus are on making sure that everything is just right for our children. We want them to be grateful for the season, to be happy and to watch their little faces light up with joy on Christmas morning. But there are so many little details that must be attended to that we moms often forget to take care of ourselves.
We must remember that we must take the time to fill up, to rejuvenate our minds, bodies, and souls, so we have enough of our best selves to pour out to those we love. This holiday season there are 5 things I’ve promised myself that I’ll do to make sure I am kept filled to the brim so I can keep on pouring throughout the season. Will you join me in filling up this season?
How To Enjoy The Holidays With Your Family: 5 Tips to Help Moms Choose Joy this Holiday Season
Tip 1: Create A Cozy And Inviting Home By Decorating Early
Create a cozy and relaxed atmosphere in your home for the holidays. We all love to go to a home that is well decorated for the holidays. It’s special and it fills our hearts with joy to be in a home that is so inviting. You mommas should make time to do this in your homes, too, and the earlier the better. Get “decorate house” off of your to-do list as early as possible. When you do so, your spirit will be lifted as you get to enjoy the beauty you’ve created for your family.
In our house, we also light a scented candle every day. It’s actually the first thing I do in the morning as soon as I get downstairs before everyone else has risen. The calming aroma helps ease me into the day ahead and it also has a relaxing effect on my two rambunctious boys when they head downstairs in the morning.
I also light a candle every night when I’m cooking dinner and the kids are playing around the house. My children love scented candles. We make a special trip together to the store to smell the different candles and then I let my kids choose the one they like the best. String some lights up in your house to add to the ambiance. Lighting is so important to creating a mood of joy.
Tip 2: Stay Healthy By Eating Right and Exercising More
There will be many opportunities this December to eat fudge, drink egg nog and fill up on cookies. So be intentional in what you eat when you are not at the myriad of holiday events. When I know that I am going to have to eat on the go due to my busy holiday schedule, I try to have enough healthy grab and go foods in my refrigerator at home. I stock up on lunch sized salads from Costco or Trader Joe’s and I keep a full bottle of water with me at all times.
Don’t give yourself a reason or an opportunity to make poor eating choices. We always make sure our kids have something to snack on. Don’t forget about packing snacks for mom, too. Bags of nuts, dried fruit, and whole fruit are all great snacks to keep on hand for yourself. This is the best defense against impulsive high-calorie snack purchases when out and about.
And get your body moving. Try to think of creative ways to get some exercise in this season to get those endorphins pumping. You need to do everything you can to combat the stress of the season and reduce the holiday blues.
Tip 3: Spend Time Nourishing Your Soul
Nourish your soul this season. Spend time in prayer, reflection, meditation and whatever else it is you need to do to rejuvenate your spirit.
For me, I plan on doing my annual advent bible study. I’m also a lover of tradition so I’ll also reread The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. Ann Voskamp’s book is a wonderful way for me to stay focused on what’s really important to me and my family this season.
A tradition we’ve embraced as a family is to read Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas and to decorate a Jesse Tree with the ornaments we created from the templates found here.
Tip 4: Say No To Some Things
Don’t be afraid to say no to some things. When you are invited by your coworker to attend her holiday party on the same day that you are to make 5 dozen cookies to exchange at your neighborhood cookie exchange, attend your son’s school pageant and then make an appearance at your husband’s work Christmas party, it’s okay and healthy to say “no, but thank you for inviting me.”
There are some events we have to attend to this season and there are others that are optional. Be grateful for the option to say no because when you say no you are in effect saying yes to you. Saying yes to you will give you the white space you need to fully embrace joy this season.
Tip 5: Give Grace To Yourself
You can’t do everything. And even if you could do everything, you wouldn’t be able to do everything perfectly. You are human. You are imperfect. God created YOU this way. Give grace to yourself this December. You deserve it.
Keep these 5 tips in mind this season as you celebrate with your loved ones. If you do so, you will be more so you can give more. Rest in the joy of the season mommas and celebrate the goodness of life.
What are some things you are going to do this holiday season to make sure you remain filled up so you can continue to pour out?