The month is halfway over! If you’re like most, the time after Thanksgiving becomes quite a blur. There are traditions to keep up with, presents to buy, family to entertain, places to travel, parties to attend, Christmas plays, and of course the decorating. The list goes on and on with activities we try to squeeze into the one month of the year that is meant for hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
We blink and the season has come and gone while we are left with dry Christmas tree needles, a mess, and exhaustion. What if we changed it up? It’s not too late to put your foot on the brake and embrace this fast season that is slipping through our fingertips. We can purposefully say no to the hustle and bustle and capture Jesus in Christmas, sweet memories, and longer family times.
Here are my top tips to go from “hustle and bustle” to “slow and purposeful.”
1) To be purposeful, you must start with a plan. Before the craziness begins, go ahead and prioritize where your family will spend time. Mark down the events that can’t be left out and say no to the rest. It’s so easy to fill our calendars with all good intention, but it can leave us feeling rushed here and there with the crowds. Too much of the hustle and bustle leads to the enjoyment falling off quickly. Make Jesus the priority, then family, then the extras. You can start today!
2) Traditions? I am a big fan of traditions, but sometimes you’ve got to just let them go! When you start to say things like, “WE HAVE to go here and do such and such, then WE HAVE to go there and do this,” (all while you are rolling your eyes) it may be time to set aside the tradition this year.
3) Online shopping. Need I say more?
4) Plan more time in between events and time at the events. Once you have your priority list made, make the most of the ones your family has chosen to attend. Relax, laugh, and spend sweet time . Make memories, take pictures, talk about Jesus! When you have purposefully said no to other things, then the priorities will get your families’ full attention.
5) Let go of perfection. Are you having a Christmas party at your house or having family over? Let go of the pinterest-perfect image of your home. Serve your best food on your favorite dishes, have enough space for guests to walk, to sit on the couch, and let the rest ride while you savor all of the fun, jokes, and food.
This list seems simple enough. Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t feel as though you have a choice, especially when extended family is coming in and out, or you are the one traveling to visit everyone. You have tried to cut back on your schedule every way you can, but most of the commitments require your attendance. I say embrace every moment no matter how crazy. Drink in every morsel.
Most of all, purposefully put your thoughts on Jesus through this fast-moving, sometimes distracting season. Show His face to everyone you meet on the other side of the front door. Be His hands and feet. Serve and live purposefully the rest of the year and watch as the exhaustion cloud lifts to see the reason for the season.
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