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Updated: May 8, 2023

Ways You Can Slow Down and Be More Intentional This Holiday Season

'Tis the season for Christmas parties and present shopping and present wrapping and stocking stuffer hiding and baking and card sending and tree decorating and the list goes on and on. Raise your hand if that list immediately made you want to go take a nap. Or hide under your covers until Christmas is over. Better yet, raise your hand if you feel personally victimized by the holiday season.

It's hard sometimes to resist the pull of our inner grinch. Especially when, as women, or biological clocks are telling us to wind down, retreat, and rest for the remainder of the winter season (if you believe in that hippie/crunchy stuff like me). But, in the midst of all my complaining and whining, I try to remember the true reason for the season, and found at least one thing I'm grateful for each day. Today that was having presents wrapped and under the tree, and a family to wrap them for.

In the big picture, I know that "unto us a child is born," and that he is named "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace,” ‭‭(Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭6)‬. And even if things don't feel quite peaceful in this season, we can rest in the knowledge that God will give us counsel, comfort, and peace through his word.

And just in case you were looking for some other, more practical ways to slow down, be more intentional, and promote peace this Christmas, I've prepared a list (y'all know how much I love lists).

1. Unplug

Try to avoid phone time/screen time as much as possible. Instead, enjoy a board game, a book, or just some good old-fashioned play time with your family (human or furry).

2. Take time to decorate your tree

It doesn't have to all be done at once, unless you're type-A and having it all done at once helps you relax. If not, though, have fun with it. Assign an ornament to each family member and let them pick where it goes. Maybe you each can put one or two on the tree each night from now until Christmas. Have an ornament party and a Christmas movie showing each night (or maybe just one night a week). Come up with your own fun twists and traditions.

3. Bake Christmas cookies

If you're looking for fun and tasty ways to be more intentional this year, this is the perfect activity for you and your family. You can either completely DIY your baked goods, or you can pick up a kit from the grocery store. Do you have a family recipe you want to share with your kids? Go all out, let the littles frost their own cookies (just breathe through the anxiety you get over giving your four-year-old a tube of icing 🤪).

4. Read a family advent devotional

One of the most prominent core memories I have from growing up is my family sitting in the living room before bed time each night and reading a book aloud together. It's one of my most favorite memories, too. Find an advent devotional or a book that your whole family can sit together and read (or listen to) each night before Christmas. I promise it will bring you joy, and million dollar memories.

5. Go see a Christmas lights display

One of the funnest ways to slow down and enjoy the moment you're in is to go see a Christmas lights display. The colors are so vibrant, the kids are mystified, and you get a minute to sit back and see the look of wonder on their faces. There is nothing more magical--short of seeing it through a child's eyes--than watching a child experience a light display for the first time.

I hope this list was helpful for you and your family. Have a Merry Christmas! 🎁

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