The Busy Mama’s Guide to a Simply Peaceful Holiday Season

the busy mama's guide to a simply peaceful holiday season

Do you want to make this holiday season merry, bright and peaceful? Read on to discover a few simple ways to create fond memories for your kids without sacrificing your sanity.

You know how you want your holidays to be. Peaceful, steeped in family and traditions. You want your kids to remember their childhood holidays with fondness and maybe carry on some of the traditions in their own families one day. Most of all you want to enjoy your kids and you want them to understand the giving, caring and love that this time of year is all about.

 

But here’s what happens for so many of us. We start out the season with these intentions of peace and family togetherness. Then we start scheduling parties, holiday festivities, tree lightings, cookie-baking, present buying, present wrapping and the list goes on! Before we even realize we’re overscheduled our vision for a calm and cozy holiday is a fantasy. The worst part is our kids start feeling that holiday stress rolling off of us and they act accordingly!

A few years ago our family had the best holiday season ever. Just ask my kids. We imperfectly celebrated Advent (sometimes I remembered the daily gift, sometimes I forgot). We baked an unreaslistic amount of cinnamon rolls (if you have not tried Ree’s recipe with maple icing you haven’t truly lived) and delivered them far and wide. We watched some classic holiday television. St. Nick visited early in December and Santa on the 25th. We attended our small town’s tree lighting ceremony. We didn’t do a lot of shopping. We skipped driving around and finding lights to look at (unless they happened to be along our drive anyway). We attended zero holiday parties. Cookies were not baked. And our tree was up only days before Christmas.

Some may have called that December a failure. But my kids go out of their way to remind me of it – because we haven’t had one like it in a long time. The following years we attended more parties. We bought more gifts (not just for the kids, for everyone we visited). Cookies were baked and I stayed up late on Christmas Eve’s to wrap gifts, dragging myself off to bed well after 2am. Our trees have been put up a bit earlier.

But the kids don’t mention the past few years – even though their stockings were a bit fuller (and handmade to boot!). My kids have taught me a valuable lesson about what needs to matter most during the holidays. It’s not about what you do versus what you don’t do. It’s about how you feel.

To have a more centered, peaceful and connected holiday we need to define how we want to feel. This worked without me trying a few years back. The kids had fun and the things we chose to do increased our joy. Even though we didn’t do things perfectly the season felt full.

How do you want to feel this holiday season? Decide on these desired feelings and then align your actions with them. If you start feeling out of sync with your desires reevaluate the activities you’re doing and if they’re moving you further away from your desired feelings or closer.

When I feel myself drifitng away from calm I remind myself to slow down. Slowing down doesn’t have to mean doing less, though it can and that’s not a bad thing! We can’t truly connect with anyone when we’re going a million miles an hour. Intentionally slowing down, taking deep breaths and being in the moment can help us reconnect when we’ve been moving too fast.

I wanted to share this story because it was like a huge a-ha moment for me this year. My kids kept asking if we could ‘do Advent again’ like we did those couple years back. I kept thinking that it wasn’t a very well executed Advent celebration but obviously that imperfect Christmas was exactly what we needed.

How do you want to feel this holiday season? Share your answers in the comments below!

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