My new mantra for the holidays is, “SLOW DOWN!” It is often so difficult to escape the feeling of “just one more thing” during the holiday season. Just one more thing to buy, clean, plan, make, do, etc., can become overwhelming.
We are deluged with holiday ads, sales, and merchandise beginning as early as September. As a mom, it is difficult to avoid these traps. I want the holidays to be perfect and memorable for my family. All my kids really want is for us to spend time together.
Enjoy the Moment
In my quest to simplify, I have discovered some easy ways to enjoy the holidays and slow down enough to soak them in.
Gather. Fill up a basket or bin with picture books related to the season. Gather everyone together and read aloud—it only takes fifteen minutes! Or, have a family movie night, complete with cozy blankets and crunchy popcorn.
Talk. Take advantage of family holiday gatherings to share family memories and stories from the past. My kids’ grandparents especially love to tell stories, and this is a great way to preserve these oral histories. Much laughter is guaranteed!
Share. Start filling up a shoe box with small items to send to a soldier or to donate to a child in need. This is a fun project for kids to work on throughout the holidays. As kids select special items for the box, you can pray together for the person who will receive it.
Keep. Try to keep your routines as much as possible. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, avoid stress by keeping some things “normal.” We take a few days off from schoolwork, but not too many days in a row. Kids thrive on routine and predictability.
Wander. Don’t be afraid to chunk the schedule for a spontaneous excursion outside. Go for a walk in the fresh, crisp air. Visit an apple or pumpkin farm. Sit on the porch with a mug of warm cider and observe the birds and squirrels preparing for the winter.
Remember to pause, be in the moment, and simplify. Don’t let the holidays become a hectic, frazzled time of stress. Enjoy this time with your family and focus more on creating memories than on the holiday clutter. Just stop once in a while and take time to smell the turkey.
Read this and more of my articles at Home Educating Family.