The holidays are looking quite a bit different for us this year. Of course we have all of the Covid concerns in getting together with friends and family, lots of our favorite events are canceled, restaurants and shops closed or limited, less money to go around… but instead of dwelling on things I can’t control, I’m going to focus on what I can. So here’s what my Christmastime is looking like. I hope it helps inspire you to make some changes (the good ones), too!
- Perfection. This is a big one for me. This year I’m taking a step (or six) back and letting things happen as they will. We picked out a tree yesterday, and I let everyone else decide what size and shape to get. My toddler helped decorate our tree, and I didn’t move any (ok, many) ornaments. I didn’t dwell for hours perfecting our Christmas cards, but instead made it special, chose meaningful photos and a quote, and clicked purchase. Perfection is the worst. Let it go! It’s way less stressful for everyone.
- Busy. This is a little easier this year because lots of our usual plans have been cancelled for us. But I’m still seeing people rushing around looking frazzled and stressed. I was pulling out of a parking spot yesterday (doing a quick and simple pickup for Christmas presents, so fun!), and this lady pulled out of her spot after me, but apparently I wasn’t pulling out quickly enough, because she honked at me and zipped around me giving me a crazy look. What on Earth is so worth all the rushing and aggressive driving? Everything we’ve gone through this year with losing Prudence has made me slow way down and enjoy each moment, and I am trying to remember to continue that speed even during the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
- Stuff. I know you knew this was coming. And yes, it is possible to have less stuff and reduce your consuming, even at the holidays! In fact, getting rid of things before we introduce new items we receive is a wonderful idea. Donate any unused decor, pantry items you won’t use, outgrown clothes and toys, etc. My husband and I had several discussions about our planned purchases and budgets for Christmas, I used an app I like (it’s called The Christmas List) to organize it, and then I was able to purchase things online without worry, “accidental” impulse purchases, or overspending.
- Movement. Moving our bodies helps in so many ways. But especially during times of extra stress and commitments, it’s even more important to remember to take care of ourselves. I’ve made a commitment to walk at least one mile a day (yes, I’m walking in the cold outside), for the month of December. Comment below if you want to join me and 99 Walks, and I’ll add you to my team! The 99 Walks focus of the month is “Leave a Little Sparkle”. I love it so much! What can we do to leave a little sparkle wherever we go? I’m working on slowing down, making eye contact, saying hello (or even better paying a compliment), smiling (behind my mask), and being more present in every situation. There’s a lot more opportunity for that when we slow down and walk.
- Memory Making. I think all new moms probably go through the phase where we want to establish the best traditions and keep up with the Pinterest boards of the best moms out there. But that’s not what I am doing this year. I’m picking and choosing what works for us! What a concept, right? We went and cut down a tree yesterday at the cutest tree farm, right out of a Hallmark movie, and got some beautiful pictures. The lighting was perfect. It wasn’t too cold. It was wonderful. But, it has taken us five years (and five tries) to find a place like this! We’ve had some less than amazing tree-getting moments, probably mostly because I put so much pressure on making it be perfect and tradition-worthy!
- Nature. Ok, if you know me, you probably know that I hate being cold. I didn’t live in the Southwest for 10 years of my adult life for nothing! But I now know how important it is for my toddler (and me) to prioritize our outdoors time – no matter the weather. It’s really incredible the benefits you get when you just go outside and play. You probably know we’re doing a goal of 1000 hours outside each year (which is about 3 hours a day). We may not make that goal this year since we started at the end of January, and didn’t get into the momentum until much later. But it’s not about the achievement. What? I know. I love crossing off the list, getting a gold star, sharing my wins… but we spent so much more time outside having fun and making memories than we would have without this goal, and that’s what this is all about! So whether you do 10 minutes or an hour, bundle up and get some fresh air each day. Trust me. It’s great!
- Fun. Yep. Plain and simple. More fun! Some things I’m doing this year: I always have a Christmas movie playing, whether it’s one of my Hallmark ones or Elf, or a cartoon classic, there’s always a Christmas movie at the ready! Advent calendars! I got a chocolate one from Aldi, and we’re also going to do one from 1000 Hours Outside (a different nature focused activity for each day)! I’ll link to that below. Making ornaments… I have a recipe saved that we’re going to try (link below)! Making and decorating Christmas cookies with the family. Trying new recipes. Getting special holiday treats, hello Elf cereal and candy cane deodorant! What are your favorite fun Christmas activities? Comment and let me know!
This week’s favorites:
Candy Cane Deodorant- Healthy deodorant that works! Get a Free Travel Size Deodorant with your first order HERE