I know I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like this time of year can be downright exhausting. From decorating to parties to baking to shopping – then wrapping – and the constant pressure to have our Christmas be “just so”…it can literally suck the joy right out of the season. Feel like you can relate?
I will openly admit, that there have been Christmases where I have tried to fit it all in. And it has left me feeling empty, depleted and downright cranky. Even my husband, who works as a manager for a major retail chain, has confessed that he has grown to kind of really despise the season. Not so much the holiday itself, as the commercialism that comes with it…sometimes creeping into stores as early as weeks before Halloween!
I have learned over the years, to pick and choose our family’s holiday expectations, outings and activities carefully. Otherwise, come December 26th, I’m left with a big fat zero in my wallet and a big fat hole in my heart. It’s made me realize there are many little things you can experience over the Christmas season that will leave you feeling joyful and still have something left to give once New Year’s rolls around.
This year is no different. For me and my family, we will experience a few holiday favorites together, but nothing crazy or over the top. I am someone who can easily get overwhelmed if I feel like my life is running me instead of me running my life. And my kids are the same…and my husband even more so! So, for us, we’ve purposefully chosen just a few things that will bring us joy this holiday season.
- Driving around town looking at Christmas lights together after dinner one evening.
- Buying or making a few simple and select gifts for family members that I know they will enjoy and actually use throughout the year, without breaking the bank in the process.
- Inviting neighbors and friends to go caroling.
- Remembering those less fortunate than ourselves by donating unused or outgrown coats & shoes to charity.
- Saying “no” to outside requests when we do feel overwhelmed.
- Attending a local performance of The Nutcracker Ballet.
There is a great amount of joy to be found in small things. The greatest gift of all we will receive this Christmas is in the form of a tiny baby who came to save all mankind. Without Jesus coming to earth, we wouldn’t have the love, peace or joy that should be the focus in our hearts this time of year, and all throughout it.
My wish for you this Christmas season, is that less can be more.