We all know how easy it can be to let the Christmas season fly by like the rest of them without taking time to focus on what matters and spend it intentionally. In the past I have been guilty of this, but recently I am more determined than ever to bring purpose to every part of my life, including the Christmas season. I put together a short list of some things that I do to be more intentional in the holiday season in hopes of helping you do the same.
Advent is a big part of this season. And while my own son is still too little to understand, I am making an attempt to do this for myself and for him so that we have the tradition started as he gets older. It is a great way to dig deeper into the meaning of Christmas and spend quality time with your family doing fun activities that help show your kids what Christmas is all about. Some of my favorite advent calendars and devotionals are from the Ashlee Proffitt Shop and Naptime Diaries. Both are great ways to focus on what really matters during the busy holiday rush.
I started doing this as soon as my son was born. I knew that I didn't want our children growing up thinking that Christmas was a time for them to get all the things. Instead, we limit the gifts we get for each other and try to implement the want, need, wear, read rule. In an effort to keep my house from being overtaken by toys, I started using the idea that we would get something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, and something to read. This helps to limit gifts, gives him a variety, and gives him something he actually needs too. Plus, this rule helps us to focus on the people, not the gifts. If we are limited on what to get for someone, we will put more thought into that gift, spend less time shopping, and more time with the person instead.
Fill your Christmas list with experiences
Every year my husband asks me what I want, and I almost always respond with "spending more time with you". With our busy schedules, we don't get to see each other much so even though this sounds like a cheesy answer, I really mean it. Gifts don't have to be physical objects. Instead of asking for more things this year, try adding a few experiences to your list too. Experiences are where memories are created, and those are worth more than any object in my book. Some ideas for this are to take a family vacation instead of buying presents, buy something big for your home that you need, or even little things like massages and manicures.
Give as much as you get
This one is huge for me. I am a big believer of not having a house full of things that we don't need or use. So every year, I try to clean out our closets and get rid of things that we have outgrown to keep things from getting cluttered as new gifts come in. Not only does it keep your house organized, but it also shows kids how to be generous to others, especially during the Christmas season. It is a way to intentionally give to other families, who may need it.
Don't fill your schedule
It seems like once the holidays roll around, things get busier. As if our lives were not busy enough already, we then add in Christmas shopping, holiday parties, family get-togethers, and so much more. But we just can't do it all. And if we say yes to everything and fill our schedules to the brim, there will be no time left to sit and savor the season. Yes, all of these things are good things and can be enjoyable too. But all of them together could mean overwhelm and burn-out for you too. Say no to the things that will only clutter your schedules and make more room for the good stuff.
There is definitely no right or wrong way to celebrate Christmas. Do what works for your family. These are just a few things I have started doing to help us focus on what really matters.
How do celebrate Christmas with intention?
PS: If you liked this post, you might also like Setting Boundaries, Where to Draw the Line Between Work + Life.