Have you noticed that the stores are already stocking Christmas decor and gift ideas? Retailers are doing all they can to make us engage in the season right now?
I don’t know about you, but gearing up for the holidays can overwhelm me. There is so much more to accomplish on top o our already slammed-packed everyday, ordinary lives.
And while our kids or husband or others might be willing to help us out, the reality is that we’re the ones who carry the brunt of it all.
We shop and cook. We clean and bake. We address envelopes and wrap presents. We invite and clean-up.
And honestly, my holiday to-do list can quadruple with just one cup of coffee and pen and paper.
No matter how organized we think we are… we all need help.
Doesn’t that sound refreshing…
She is the executive director of communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries and is a regular contributor to Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 email devotional. She is the author of I Used to Be So Organized, When Your Child Hurts, and work@home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home, and the co-author of Everyday Confetti. Glynnis, her husband, Tod, and their five young adult children live in Arizona. She blogs regularly at http://www.glynniswhitwer.com.
And you’re going to love her practical ideas to make this holiday season manageable.
Although Christmas should be a season of pausing and pondering, rejoicing and revering, it can turn into just one more thing on my overloaded to-do list. It’s so easy for me to lose the beauty of the season in the bedlam of an overloaded schedule.
And that’s not God wish for me.
I’ve discovered I don’t need a fancy planner or app to help bring some order to my life at Christmas. All I need is some quiet time to think and some paper or a computer to create my lists.
Christmas is a time when there’s more required of us.
And lists help me keep track of all the things I want to remember. They help me prepare in advance so I can enjoy the moment. They help me think through gift giving so everyone doesn’t get a mug. They help me plan events where I can show the love of Jesus.
A good way to keep track of all your lists is a Christmas notebook. This is something you can easily create digitally or with a 3-ring binder, tabbed inserts and paper. You could also pick up a pretty journal and keep your lists there.
Next, grab a hot cup of coffee, your notepad or computer, and find a quiet place. It’s good to start with prayer, asking God what He wants for you. Let Him bring to mind people who need to be remembered, lessons you want to teach your children, maybe a lesson you need to learn.
Lists don’t have to contain things to do.
They can also be personal and spiritual goals.
Then, think through what would make this Christmas special for you and your family. What are your hopes? Once you’ve thought about it, invite your family into the discussion. Capture these ideas on your lists.
Here are some other lists you might consider making:
- Prayer requests
- Gifts for others
- Books to read
- Stocking stuffer ideas
- Outreaches you want to do (Ex. Operation Christmas Child)
- Menus for special dinners
- Holiday events to attend
- Decorations you need to buy
- Traditions you want to remember
- Cookies you want to bake
- People you want to connect with
Now that you have a fabulous start to your lists, keep them handy so you can add to them. But don’t let all those wonderful ideas stay on a list. The final step is to transfer some of them to your schedule.
Just do what you can do this year, and save other ideas for next year.
Don’t worry about doing any of this perfectly. The goal isn’t to have a perfect Christmas. The goal is to be more intentional and to create a foundation where everyone will experience more peace and joy than stress.
You can read the full article and leave a comment at Glynnis’s blog.
What if we decided to do the holidays different this year? Maybe instead of just surviving… we can decide to thrive.
Girls, we can do this.