As I think ahead to Christmas, I like to think of four questions and then process through them. The years have taught me that taking a little of time to answer these questions ahead of time, makes a huge difference.
When you answer these four questions, you will be able to figure out why you do what you do. Whether your family consists of you and your husband or you, your husband, and children, these are questions that you need to ask yourself.
What are our family traditions?
Write down all the things your family does on a regular basis during Christmas. These are the things that are unique to your family.
Look at the list of the traditions. Are there any you do not enjoy? If there is a tradition that feels like more of an obligation, let it go. This is your unique family.
Are there any parts of Christmas that stress us out?
Write down all of the Christmas stress points. As you look at your list are these things that can be avoided or are they necessary and you can mentally prepare ahead of time? If malls stress you out, consider shopping online. However, if there is a family gathering that stresses you out, consider how you can mentally prepare ahead of time. Identifying the stress points beforehand can help you be more aware of what is to come.
What would you love to do this Christmas?
Is there a tradition you would love to try? Maybe a new cookie recipe or a new idea for the kids. A new event to attend? Make a list of the things you would love to enjoy this Christmas. Then add a couple to the calendar.
What will your family say yes to and what will your family say no to this season?
When I start to feel overwhelmed about all the things, I can look at my list and be reminded of where I am saying yes in this season. Remember, you do not have to attend every single Christmas party and buy a gift for every single person. It is okay and good to say no.
Take some time to answer these questions yourself and have your family members answer them. When you are aiming to be intentional, these questions can help you identify areas to focus on and areas to let go of during this Christmas season.
What about you? How do you prepare for the holidays?