Simplify. That word can sometimes be a bit of a holy grail, but I do like it. Every year when Christmas season rolls around, Pops and I seem to look for more ways we can simplify.So, how to revel in all of the festive glory and be the picture of calm and relaxation? Hmmm. I actually have no idea. But. Here are some practices we've found to be really helpful for us, at this stage in our lives.
• Say "yes" to down time! Just because you have a day free doesn't mean you should fill it up with holiday plans. Be willing to let fun opportunities pass by so you can fully appreciate those that you purposefully choose. Added bonus? You're making room for spontaneous jigsaw puzzle sessions or Christmas stories by the fire.
• Do it if it is fun. Only if it is fun. Christmas cards? Only if you enjoy the process and won't groan at the postage. Of course we all love to receive them, but nobody will think less of you if you don't send them. Baking cookies? Bring me a plate if you spent a glorious day making them. But if you dread the making, the chilling, the rolling, the cutting, the frosting ... just make some hot chocolate and everyone is still happy.
• Find simple, sustainable traditions that bring Christ into your home. We all have our favorites, but our family is learning to slow the daily pace down enough so we can truly set the focus where we want it to be and simply enjoy the season.
• Let go of the expectations and just enjoy. This is a biggie for me. I'm prone to over-planning which can really be a drag for everyone else. Appreciating the days for how they offer themselves up is a skill I'd really love to make habit.