Several years ago, I wrote this post about focusing on joy during the holiday season. Writing that post really changed how I approach the holidays. I just went back and reread that post to remind myself what I want to focus on again this year -- the joy and beauty of it all.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we go forward into the Christmas season full speed ahead and it’s hard not to get lost in all the hustle and bustle around us. When we lose focus then the Christmas season has the potential to become this crazy hectic want-to-pull-our-hair-out month where we breathe the sigh of relief that it is January. That isn’t what I want this month to be and I don’t think it is what you want either.
What has helped me the most in the past few years is to focus on that “joy list” that I talked about in my post. This means making a list of the things that bring me the most joy and making sure I focus on those, letting other things take a back seat. I may get everything done, I may not, but at least those things that bring me the most joy are front and center and I make sure to give them priority.
So here’s my list of things that take priority over everything else – because they bring so much joy. Our “Porter girls’ shopping day” with my daughter-in-law and granddaughters is something on the top of my list.
Baking day with a friend is something we always make sure to schedule. We each make 3-4 different kinds of cookies and trade them. It’s always so much fun to get my baking done and spend time with her at the same time.
One of the things I do to make time for myself away from all the hustle and bustle is to work on my December Daily album a little each day. It seems crazy to take on this project right in the middle of the most hectic time of year but it calms me down and gives me the creative time I need and I love having all our Christmas memories from each year in a basket for us to go through during the holidays.
Another thing I make sure to take time for is playing with my camera. There is so much beauty this time of year that just HAS to be captured!
Here's a list I've made for myself this year. Maybe it will help you focus on what's important to you and what brings you joy:
- Take time to slow down and appreciate the little things. Keep your eyes open for moments of magic.
- Baking makes a mess. It also makes memories.
- Take some time out for yourself, even if it’s just a few moments a day. Have a cup of tea by the Christmas tree.
- Even if life isn’t perfect, there can still be beautiful and joyful moments.
- Know that there are going to be crowds and lines. Don’t be in a hurry. Just slow down and enjoy the holiday decorations and maybe even get to know that person in line with you. It will make the time go faster.
- Spending time is so much more important than spending money.
So what are your “must dos” this holiday season? Whatever you choose to do, make sure it brings you joy. Wishing you a merry and joy-filled December!