In full disclosure, I am so excited to partner with Shutterfly! As a long time customer, I am very happy to be chosen to share their amazing products with you. I was invited to make our Christmas cards with their company and provided a credit to purchase the finished product in exchange for my honest review.
What’s on your list this month?
Get the tree, go see lights, decorate (both inside and outside), shop, go see Santa, get your picture with Santa, have breakfast with Santa, go to a Craft fair, bake cookies, attend a “grand illumination”, schedule a Christmas photo shoot, watch Christmas movies, go to a party, go to an community event, go to a church event, go to a cookie exchange, go to a train display . . . the list of what people do this time of year seems to be getting longer every year!
Is it just me, or is December getting a little to busy?
I’m not sure about you, but “keeping up with the Joneses” is not something I normally worry myself about – but during the holidays, it seems to be a real pressure.
If it’s too much for you, I’m right there with you.
I’ve decided that this time of year is not going to stress me out. I have ALWAYS enjoyed the weeks before Christmas. I’m refusing to let the inevitable stress to get to me.
Here’s how I hope to embrace the merry over the madness this year:
1. Plan very few activities.
We planned to cut down our tree. We will have to plan to get our gifts together and our shopping done. We will plan when we will see our families. I’m sure we’ll plan something fun. But that’s it! We don’t have to do “all the things”!
2. Do something spontaneous.
One day I was shopping with my son and he came across a toy rotary phone that “calls Santa”. I had no intention on buying it . . . but, he was playing with it and enjoying it. I loved how he was learning about something that was commonplace in my youth. I bought it. He’s played with it everyday. I caught him under the table with it, and overheard him telling Santa some things he wants – that he will not tell me or my husband. Not a BIG thing, but something so simple that brought unplanned joy!
3. Capture Moments but don’t try to create them
We live in an age where “pictures” are so important. I’m so caught up in it. I’m beyond guilty of not following my own advice here. We went shopping the other day and there was a big Christmas tree, so I insisted we get “a” picture in front of it. Really? Did we really need to document that moment? No. So, I’m working on this one. I was really tempted to schedule a photo session – but I didn’t. Our budget is tight, and we own a camera – so we can take our own pictures. For example, I bought the play Santa phone and since our son was enjoying it so much, I took a picture of him (okay, I took a ton of pictures of him).
4. Choose a simple card.
I really thought about picking one picture for our card this year, but when I saw this one on Shutterfly – I thought – so perfect! That’s my goal – to enjoy the simple moments! And, luckily, I had caught a few simple moments where my son was truly happy!
5. Be Okay with Relaxing and letting others take the lead
I’m telling myself again to be okay with number 1. Maybe we’ll get into the city to see light shows and all the things . . . but if we don’t – that’s fine! Maybe we will drive around and look at the lights. Maybe we’ll watch a Christmas movie. Maybe my husband will want to do something, and we’ll do that. I notice our son is the happiest when we do something “as a family”. It could going shopping together. He’s four and I feel like knowing what brings him joy helps me totally understand why Jesus said:
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”
We can see a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven, where we will experience true joy, when we listen to a four year old talk about what makes him happy or what she wants Santa to bring. It’s usually not a long list, and it’s usually adorable.
With or without a young child, sometimes it’s just easier to let others do the planning. I like the idea of that.
How do you embrace the “Merry” over the “Madness”?