December 1 - The first day of Advent. I am so excited this year to embrace the season, embrace the holiday. I often let seasons and holidays pass me by without much thought and definitely without any preparation. When the day comes to celebrate I don't feel ready. This year I want to make sure to change that.
These are 5 ways I am choosing to embrace this holiday:
1. Focus on Family. This month of preparation and advent before the big celebration of Christ's birth, I want to make sure to have quality time with family. I often take for granted the love from my parents, my siblings, my husband, and my daughter. Christmas is the perfect time to be grateful and to show that thankfulness through action. Christmas is a holiday where family is a huge part. I want to make sure those family members feel as loved as they make me feel. Some ways I hope to do this is by inviting them over for meals, giving gifts of meaning, and taking time to visit and care for.
Specifically, with my hubby I want to grasp the time we have together. For the first time in a long while we called a babysitter last Friday night and had a date night. I am realizing more and more the importance of blocking out significant amounts of time to simply spend together and grow together. This Christmas season we are making a bucket list of Holiday fun just for us and our baby girl to do together. I really think this will bring us closer together and keep us focused on this Holiday.
2. Meaningful Gifts. I am a huge procastinator and will often buy my Christmas gifts a couple days before I need to give them out. This does not always allow me to give truly meaningul gifts because I am rushed and don't have the time. This year I want to take gift giving more seriously. I want to find gifts that really will resonate with the person and will show meaning and love. This means I want to start thinking and looking already so that I will be prepared for the day to give. One blog post I found great ideas for this is found here: 100+ Non-Toy Gifts for Toddlers to Teens . I actually find many of the ideas apply for adults as well.
3. Meaningful Decorations. Instead of putting up decorations just to look good, I want to bring meaning to my decor - meaning that truly shows Christmas for all its joy. I am doing this by DIYing some of my decorations, by putting less pressure on the perfection of them, and by making sure there are toddler friendly ones as well for my daughter. Read more about this in my article on Her View From Home.
4. Taking Time. I can often go through December anticipating the main event - the main celebration. While advent is all about looking forward to that main celebration, instead of only focusing on that, I want to take the time to celebrate here and now. By doing traditional holiday things like baking cookies, listening to Christmas music, playing in the snow (if we get any...), making Christmas crafts, writing and reading about Christmas, and more I am taking the time to enjoy the holiday in this moment.
5. Intentional Acts of Kindness. A while ago I wrote a post on The Power of Giving. In that post I wrote about how I am choosing to pick one or two ways a week to give... whether it is giving of my time, my money, my possessions, etc. I am continuing this and want to make sure to continue this during the Christmas season. Christmas is all about the love we have received from God sending Christ here on earth as a baby. One way to be reminded and to stay focused on that meaning is by continueing to show that love to those around us. This is why it is necessary to continue to be putting others around us before ourselves. These acts of kindness are simply reminders to myself of these truths.
I am so excited about Christmas this year - more excited then I have been in a long time! Simply because I am choosing to take it seriously and to focus on the true joy that Christ's birth brings.