For the 27th day of this Clutter-Free by Thanksgiving challenge, I have a special guest to share with you about her experience simplifying this time of year.
Sarah has some practical advice for you to make the holidays a time when you remember the joy and fun by reducing the chaos and stress.
Today’s Task: Choose one of the ideas below for simplifying the holidays and start implementing it now, whether that’s just planning it and writing a reminder or getting part of it started.
You’re Slow As Christmas
In the south, we like our catchphrases. “That car is parked all cattywampus.” “You’re too big for your britches.” “Why, she’s slow as Christmas!”
That last one always gets me. As a kid, I couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive, and it always seemed like it took for. eh. ver. When the blessed day finally arrived, it seemed as if it was gone the instant it came.
As an adult, and mom of two under 5, my entire holiday season seems to be blowing right past me faster than a greased up pig at a bacon factory (yes, that is a thing people say where I’m from)! Parties, family events, church events, community events, baking, shopping, decorating….am I making any of you sweat yet? I’m sweating over here and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!
It’s just all become too much. We are all guilty of doing too much, especially during the holidays it seems. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Aren’t the holidays supposed to be about something more than doing all the things? My answer is yes.
Here’s how I plan to slow down and take it all in this holiday season:
Be Intentional. Seems so simple, right? “Of course I have time for my family!” But do we really? My lip service and my actions don’t always meet up, but this year I’m going to make it a conscious decision to put my family first. Is it really in everyone’s best interest to stand in line for 2 hours at the mall to meet Santa? Do we have to attend every single holiday party we are invited to? Only you can make those choices for yourself and your family, but I’m finding more often than not, saying “no” is the best thing I can offer my family.
Disconnect to connect. Ok, this seems a little off, I know, but go with me here. I am a blogger, and chances are if you’re reading this post, you’re also one or, at the very least, you participate in this wonderful, global thing we like to call social media. It is way too easy to pull out your phone or tablet and ignore everyone around you during the holidays. Don’t be “that guy.” Step away from your life on the internet for just a bit and connect with people face to face.
Make time for family traditions. It doesn’t have to be elaborate either! My family has traditionally gone to the movies after dinner on Thanksgiving Day for as long as I can remember, and I love that time we share together. Whatever you do, make time to do it! Yes, there may be ups and downs to establishing traditions if you don’t already have some, but isn’t that what life is all about? Loving your family through all of those stories that start with “remember that time…”
Lastly, take time to rest. The holidays are a great time to recharge by just being present with the people you love. Our culture today prides itself on always having an answer for the question, “What have you done today?” and I think that’s a shame. Sometimes you need a little time to do “nothing” which, more often than not, is not really and truly “nothing” (moms with young children can I get an AMEN?). The holidays are the best time to take that break and refresh yourself. As a mom, it is especially important to take advantage of willing, helping hands whenever you can get them, and the holidays are a great time to do that.
I know a lot of these ideas are easier said than done, but I truly believe if you make a concerted effort to slow down this holiday season, you will reap the endless benefits of that choice. After all, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
What are your plans for the holidays? I’d love to hear how you make time for the important things this holiday season!
Sarah is a mom of twin girls who writes about her family and their adventures at sarahinthesuburbs.com.
She’d love for you to stop by and say hi!