You all already know that I have an immense love for this time of year and all the warm fuzzy traditions and events that take place. I enjoy baking Christmas cookies with my kids. I enjoy shopping for my loved ones. I enjoy a good candle light Christmas Eve service.
It all makes me feel so giddy inside.
So you can imagine my delight as I scrolled through my pinterest page to see post upon post (or pin upon pin?) of fun creative ways to celebrate Christmas every day in December by doing an advent calendar with my family. Many of these are geared for families with kids and include gifts and scheduled activities daily- baking cookies for the neighbor, buying a gift for a friend, adopting a family for Christmas, reading a particular Christmas book together, decorating ornaments, the list of joy filled activities are endless.
My mind immediately raced to all the fun it would be! My expectations of days filled with nothing but holiday cheer were at a high.
And then, something happened. Life got real.
As a mom with 2 little ones to take care of, a home to clean, meals to cook, multiple ministry responsibilities, and the craziness that can already become the month of December, I had to ask myself, “why?”.
WHY would you put that extra burden upon yourself? That extra responsibility that will likely bring more stress than joy for you in this phase of your life?
And so, I said NO to daily advent activities.
And, I began asking myself the same question about other holiday responsibilities.“Will this likely bring you more stress, or more joy?” If the answer is stress, than, the answer is NO.
SO, I said NO to Christmas cards, something that I have stressed about falling short on ever since starting our own family.
And, I said NO to that long list of people who I was buying presents for simply because I felt obligated.
Am I saying you should not participate in a daily advent calendar? Or send out beautiful Christmas cards? Or buy gifts for everyone you know?
Not necessarily, but I am asking you to consider the question. Will this likely bring me more stress, or more joy?
Enjoy the things that bring you joy this season! Be willing to give to those you feel led to give to! Make memories with your family on your own terms! I’m willing to bet your Christmas will be brighter if you start asking this simple question: “Will this likely bring me more stress, or more joy?”
Wishing you a joy filled Christmas!