Maintain Focus (and Sanity!) During the Holiday Season

December is busy. Thereʼs no way around it. With kids home from school, parties to attend, gifts to buy – its very easy to get so distracted and caught up in the rush that we miss out on what Christmas is really about. Here are some tips to simplify this Christmas season so that you can reflect on Godʼs many gifts to us and appreciate the time shared with friends and family.

1. Perspective – Christmas isnʼt really about buying stuff, decorating trees and baking cookies. We enjoy those things and cherish the family traditions and memories that go along with them but we need to maintain a correct perspective on the true meaning of Christmas. Suggestions to help you with perspective: donate food to a shelter or food bank, volunteer at a soup kitchen or other non-profit, help children pick out toys to give away/donate, make extra effort to be kind to those you come in contact with, set aside time for intentional reflection on the birth of Jesus and the many blessings God has given.

2. Simplify Decorations – I love Christmas decor as much as anyone. I would love to walk into a Christmas wonderland each time I walked through the doors of my house. Realistically, I donʼt have the time or energy for that amount of decoration. Strive to decorate with pieces you love and enjoy. Make an effort to make your home special for your family. But keep in mind that your time and energy are extremely valuable. Time spent with your children is more important than pretty decorations. Donate what you donʼt use rather than keeping it in storage.

3. Share the Work – Ask guests to bring a dish to share when you invite them to your holiday gathering. Your friends wonʼt mind the little effort it takes to bring one dish and it will greatly lessen your responsibility. If you donʼt like surprises, you can specify the type of dish each guest brings so you donʼt end up with four plates of brownies.

4. Enjoy Gift Wrapping – Make a conscious decision to enjoy wrapping gifts. Set aside a couple hours of uninterrupted time. Turn on Christmas music. Make hot chocolate. Dance a little.

5. Family Traditions – Whether you have 17 rituals your family participates in each year or only two, realize the importance of observing those traditions and make sure they donʼt get lost in the holiday shuffle. If you donʼt have any family traditions, try to start one this year. Even something as simple as driving around to look at Christmas lights can create lasting memories for your family.

For additional Holiday Organization tips, visit the Organizing Tools section for tips on making Christmas less stressfuleasy gift giving, reducing holiday waste and surviving day after Christmas shopping trips.

Question: What’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition?

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