Anyone else feel like they have one million things on their mind right now? A to-do list that’s longer than Santa’s nice list and analysis paralysis when you try to prioritize it all? At this rate, Christmas and New Year's Day will be in the rearview mirror in the blink of an eye. But I don’t want to miss the magic of the season, and I’m guessing you don’t either. Scroll on for four ways you can find the spirit of the season right here in the present.
Be the one that decides to be flexible.
Given your season of life, no one is expecting you to so how meaningful would it be when you’re the one who gives a little more than you take. Volunteer to share the small bedroom or go pick up grandma even though the kids have already been in their car seats enough, be the one loading the dishwasher every night even when you’re exhausted, lay down your own agenda and relax on the kids’ schedules to prioritize other family members. It’s these sacrifices inconveniences that will model the spirit of love to our kids and teach them that the world doesn’t revolve for them or around them.
Not many would argue that this is the busiest time of the year. And the sad truth is that the busier we are, the bigger the blur of passed time. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, you don’t have to do it all! Think ahead 10. 20, 30 years. What do you think you’ll wish you focused on more? Instagram worthy presentation for all kids’ teachers Christmas gifts? Maybe. Space to be a simple, slow, and celebratory with your loved ones? Probably. As you make decisions about your schedule this year, fight hard for balance of enjoying those under your own little rooftop, and outreach and fellowship with others. It’s worth it!
Ask Three questions
Holiday small talk is worse than finding a poopy diaper and realizing you’re out of wipes. But that’s because we’re just trying to get through it, pretending to be interested with halfhearted responses and flashing the “welp gotta check on the kids” excuse. How about instead we decide to be curious about the people we’ll be interacting with for the holidays. Before the big day, pick three reflective questions you can ask literally anyone you come across and then when you ask them, genuinely listen to their answers. Give them your full attention with eye contact - you have the power to make them feel seen. When you’ve actually heard a person, it’s much easier to engage in conversation with more questions out of a compassionate heart. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- On a scale of tortoise to hare, how fast did 2022 go by for you?
- What’s something that made you laugh since the last time I saw you?
- What song did you listen to most this year?
- What’s something new you tried this year that you want to keep doing?
- What’s something you read recently that you found interesting?
- What do you think about when you’re sitting at a red light?
It seems obvious. To get enough sleep, drink enough water, shower regularly, eat foods that your body can use, get fresh air, be filled with encouragement, and get moving. It’s obvious, but it’s not easy! In a season where we can anticipate the challenges of these basics there’s an opportunity to make a plan we can aim for to feel and function at our best. I want to show up well for my people and when I’m drained, depleted, and down, I’m not able to do that. So for me, and them, I’ll write these non-negotiables in my planner and commit to them.
In a matter of weeks, the hustle and bustle of the season will be a memory. Let’s be intentional with how we experience the holidays and the people we spend them with. Let us know which challenge you will embrace to feel holly and jolly this season!