Hi friend! Today I am excited to share with you 5 ways to have a meaningful Christmas. With so many things pulling you in 20 different directions – here are some tips to keep you grounded and focused on the things that truly matter.
5 Ways to Have a Meaningful Christmas
It’s December 31st. You look at the calendar wondering how you let another Christmas season pass you by.
It’s time to pack the décor back up and just looking at it brings you overwhelming sadness. Where did all the time go? You think to yourself. We had our calendar filled with places to go and people to see. Why does it feel like we didn’t really get to enjoy Christmas?
We overfill our schedules with things that don’t truly matter. It’s okay to say ‘no’ to some things. We don’t always have to be available to everyone else. Sometimes we find ourselves in a survival season and if that’s where you find yourself this year, just know that you aren’t alone.
Have you ever felt like that? I have, and I really don’t want to feel that way. I’ve compiled this list of tips and tricks to help you have a meaningful Christmas season.
Jesus Christ is the true reason for this season. Our Savior was born. This is what we are celebrating this time of year. It’s something we so often forget to remember because of the push the world has on everything. Christmas decorations and gifts are fun, but let’s try not to forget the real reason we celebrate.
Let Your Children Create Their Own Magic
I’ve had to learn how to let go of the idea of the perfect Christmas decor in my boy’s room. Granted, my 4 month old has a tree that I decorated… but my older boys wanted something different, as they should! What is exciting to me is not quite as exciting to them. This year we made snowflake garlands, paper bag stars, and a pom pom garland for their room.
I know this is hard for my fellow type A personalities, especially those who have a hard time with letting things get messy but I promise it’s worth it – even if you catch yourself cringing every so often!
Put on some fun upbeat songs and get to crafting and decorating with your children. These are the moments they will remember and cherish and their decor will be so much more special to them because they got to lead the way with you right by their side.
Make a Big Deal of the Little Things
Have you ever noticed how your children’s eyes light up at the smallest things that we don’t really even notice anymore? My boys will get so excited when we drive in and out of our neighborhood and they notice a new decoration in someone’s yard. It’s the little things that they love the most!
Every morning my sweet 4 year old will wake up and immediately go turn on the Christmas tree in the living room. That is the one thing he just loves to do and he will always make sure I look at the tree after it’s lit. He is always telling me how beautiful my decorations are. He’s seriously the best!
Another fun thing to do is to just drive around your town and look at the lights. Most towns have streets of decorations that are usually so beautiful. It’s something so simple but so much fun to turn on some Christmas music in the car and just slowly drive around. Give everyone a travel cup with some hot chocolate in it and you have a festive night out without having to do much! That’s a double win in my book.
Does your family have any traditions? Maybe you could ask a grandparent or an aunt or uncle you are close to and ask them if they had any traditions growing up that weren’t passed down to you.
Maybe it’s something as simple as following along with advent or reading 1 chapter of the book of Luke each night as a family. Something that gathers you all together and together you can get an account of Christ’s life as we come to celebrate.
Does the idea of piles of gifts for everyone stress you out? Me too, friend, me too. My husband and I really don’t ever need anything for Christmas so we just get each other something we know the other has been wanting. However, we also really don’t want people to feel pressured to get us something just because it’s customary. Can we bring back the time when you didn’t have to go all out for all people at all times?!
With our boys we have noticed over the years that we were just buying gifts to buy them. To fill the space under the tree per say. I’ll go ahead and tell you how it went…
Messes everywhere for months, fighting over toys, toys that needed batteries or extra adult help to be used, junk toys getting broken and thrown away….
It was enough to send me over the edge. Last year my kids got so many new toys that I didn’t even have space to put them. It was so overwhelming! Since then I have decided to become, dare I say, hyper-aware of what we are purchasing for Christmas. We have decided to loosely follow the 4 gift rule. Something to wear, something to read, something they want and something they need.
Now, my kids don’t necessarily need anything to wear at this given moment so we aren’t really using that method to a tee this year, but we are keeping their gifts extremely minimal.
Not only is this keeping our Christmas budget in check, but we are also trying to select quality items and something that they will truly enjoy.
One of my best tips is to utilize Amazon lists. I was able to select items that I knew they would love or need and compile a list together to send out to family members who want to give them something. This way the items would be purposeful and I wouldn’t feel like anyone was wasting their hard earned money!
I want to touch on debt for a minute. Please please please do not feel like you need to go into debt in order to give anyone Christmas. Your children won’t remember every toy they ever got growing up but they will remember how you acted in the months after Christmas. Don’t burden yourself and your family just for 1 day. It’s not worth it.
Can we also bring back secondhand gifts? There are so many great resources on getting new to you items these days where you don’t have to pay the high sticker price.
Learn to say no
Is it just me or do you notice how everything seems to be crammed into December?! From school parties, family get togethers, neighborhood events, church events. It’s honestly overwhelming if you say yes to every single thing.
Give yourself grace and learn to say no to the things that aren’t worth it, or even the thing that causes you the most stress. You are allowed to not be present at every single social gathering this year.
Protecting your peace is so worth it. If you want it to just be your little family for Christmas day instead of running from home to home visiting people – YOU ARE ALLOWED TO! Hallelujah!
I know sometimes people will make you feel guilty for setting boundaries, but truly boundaries are so healthy and necessary. No one else is going to protect your peace, so you have to.
This season is only as overwhelming as you let it be. Decide what things and events are most important to you and focus on that, everything else can go to the back burner. If it is really killing you inside to not be doing everything but there’s just no way around it – know that this is just a season. Having young children is hard because they get off their schedule and if the baby isn’t happy no one is happy!
I promise one day we will be able to do more. And if you are in the season of life where you can go more places and do more things with your family I’m sure you can look back and remember how hard it used to be.
This one probably goes without saying, but how present are you? I mean really present? And I don’t mean this in a condescending way because I am guilty of it too. I’ve always got a mental list going on what’s next, what I need to do, have the floors been vacuumed, did all of the packages get wrapped, what about the costume for the preschool Christmas program. Literally never ending. I know I’m not the only one.
Take a minute to pause and think about the last time you were enjoying a moment with your family and weren’t thinking of everything else under the moon.
Being present is a muscle that we have to work out daily in order to grow our ability to truly be present. It’s hard, I know! However I want to challenge you to just take 10 minutes a day and be fully in the moment. Take it all in. The smells, the sights, your children – either playing or fighting. This moment will never be here again. It’s bittersweet.
I truly believe that if you implement my other tips that being present will be much easier than before. With less stress on us we are able to enjoy life more.
5 Ways to Have a Meaningful Christmas
I hope this post gave you a sense of relief that you don’t have to overachieve during December to have a meaningful Christmas. I saw a Facebook post the other day saying that Christmas was cumulative. We don’t have to do it all each year to give our children a warm memory of Christmas. Focus on the things that are truly important to you this year and the rest will fall into place.