Holiday Spirit

What brings you joy during the holidays?

I have to admit, since my kids we’re old enough to understand what Christmas is (maybe when they were two or three) my ability to get into the holiday spirit (e.g. enjoying the decorations, music, wanting to bake) has taken more time to get there then before they came, with less time to enjoy it.

There is so much going on leading up to the holidays, right? Concerts, parties, pageants, getting a tree, decorations, gifts, etc. I have often felt I was running on adrenaline right through Christmas Day, and could only relax once the day (or at least dinner) was over. 😊 Now that my kids are older, more independent, and our aware gifts come from Mom and Dad, the fuss to get everything done, to try to create that magic you want your kids to experience, isn’t as intense. It feels as though I’m reclaiming some of that previously-lost-time from Christmas past.

I noticed a joy coming over me earlier this year that I haven’t felt in a while. It is my Christmas spirit coming back. It feels really good to have time to get close to it, and really enjoy it with my family.

With everything going on, are you able to get into the holiday spirit?

Let It Snow!

Do you like snow?

As a kid, I loved it. As an adult, I dread it. My favorite snow is the kind that sticks to the ground, but not to the street. In other words, snow that doesn’t slow me down.

With this being one of the busiest times of the year, snow seems like a really big inconvenience, but for my kids, it’s something different. It means no school. It means they get to go outside and have a snowball fight. Snow, to them, means fun.

After dreading a pending storm, I had to come to grips with the reality, once again, that I don’t control the weather. The snow is going to come when its going to come. And as much as I’d like for the snow to miss us, my kids are hoping just as hard that it doesn’t.

The snow came, the kids played and I couldn’t help but get caught up in their excitement over it. The snow forced me to pause, take a breath, and appreciate what was going on around me. Snow may be inconvenient, but it brings something else with it — beauty, joy and fun.

How do you make the most of things (like the weather) that inconvenience you during this busy time of year?


A Little Bit of Cheer

Does your stress level go up, like mine do, as the holidays draw near?

The holidays are about family, friends, connecting and joy. We all know the “joy” part can sometimes be the most difficult part to find with traffic, and crowds at the mall, and all the various activities and places we have to be during this time of year. It can be a bit of a bummer, can’t it?

As I vow to be present and find joy each day through the holiday season I’ve had to implement a few tools: taking a moment each day to remember while the holiday season is busy, it’s temporary (I can handle things much better when I know they’re temporary); that my children’s excitement is infectious–there is a innocence and delight about it that I haven’t experienced since my own childhood and am encouraged to know it still exists; and that the number of holidays my husband and I will spend with our children is limited. They’ll eventually have these holidays with their own families. I want a flood of joyful memories to look back upon.

I’m taking each day as it comes, and experiencing a little bit of holiday cheer. Those moments are like magic–joy in the truest sense.

How are you experiencing joy this holiday season?