I probably should have posted this a couple weeks earlier, but here it is now!

This year, I have talked a lot about a simpler Christmas. More minimal decorations. Fewer to-dos. Which I guess is why the title of this is a bit ironic. But with it being the week before Christmas, I thought I’d share with you a few to-dos that will make your life easier, less hectic and more meaningful.

  1. Stop buying presents and be present. Don’t worry about that last minute person who got you a gift and don’t worry about the stockings being packed to the brim. Slow down and be present with the people around you. It will mean a whole lot more because you’ll remember the experiences over the things.
  2. Donate food instead of shopping for food. Costco kind of scares me right now… We probably won’t be back until closer to the new year. Instead of spending hours sorting through long grocery lists, make it simple and donate to those who need it.
  3. Say no to stuff that wears you out and yes to what builds others up. I know Christmas cards are beautiful and are so nice to have them sent out every year, but if its too much work or stressing with your kids, say no. I know there are thousands of fun Christmas activities like baking cookies, seeing lights, Pinterest projects and so much more, but if it causes you to go crazy or be exhausted, say no. In turn, say yes to slowing down with your family. Say yes to drive-by lights and gingerbread houses when it’s fun and not forced. You probably know the things you have on your list, but you’re really dreading or feel like it’s more about “doing” and less about having fun.
  4. Be present over perfect. Magazine worthy trees, fancy teacher gifts, special wrapping paper. This is kind of the same as #1, but different. There are so many things about this season that are magical, but being perfect isn’t one of them. Don’t kill yourself because your wrapping job doesn’t look like the department store. And don’t worry if there are five ornaments on one branch because your kids love to redecorate the tree. Be present for the season instead of worrying about having things done according to what our social media accounts tell us they should be like.
  5. Take time to remember what the season is really about. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve taken the time to do advent with Cove or the fact that I really want to make an effort to teach him what the season is all about, but I have reflected on it more this year than ever. Specifically what the birth of Jesus means for us and how it gives us hope. The more I think about it, the more all the other things that consume my mind and keep me distracted start to fade away. I hope it will do the same for you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

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