An Intentional Christmas Season
Years ago, I felt like Christmas had to be perfectly planned out...
Coordinated Christmas decor, all bought from a store, placed “just so” around the house. Dozens and dozens of beautiful baked goods stocking my freezer just in case. And don’t even get me started on all the gift wrapping supplies!! And surprise, surprise, I was disappointed every year when I didn’t manage to accomplish all of it!
My old ways of thinking can still come creaping in if I’m not careful but every year I feel like I learn to let go just a little more. After all, our focus should be on creating a meaningful Christ centred season (well, all seasons should be but that’s a whole other post), not just the most Instagram worthy Christmas decor!
I thought I’d share a few of the ways I’m trying to incorporate more intention into the season…
If I’m being completely honest, the only way we’ve ever celebrated advent before is with a calendar full of chocolates. One of the blessings of social media is seeing how other, like minded, homeschool mamas celebrate Christmas. I have seen lots of recommendations for Slow + Sacred Advent and I decided that this was something we needed to incorporate too!
This beautiful guide through advent was created by a fellow homeschool mama and is a lovely way to bring your family together. It is a digital download so there is still time to get it, and jump in mid way. This will be our first year of using it, but after looking through, I’m sure we’ll use if for years to come! Focus on the Family also has a free Advent download that you can find here, that I plan to pull from as well.
To be honest, there will probably be many days that we don’t go through that advent activites, and that’s ok!
This might seem like a slightly unusual thing to include in this post, but its very important to me. I think it’s great to support our local, and global, community at Christmas (and the rest of the year!) through various organizations that do amazing work but I think we can forget that, one of the simplest ways to do that, is by supporting our friends in their businesses. I have such a heart for mamas supporting mamas and know how much of a difference it can make for a family, especially at this time of year!
So, this year, I challenge you to see who you could support! So far, I’m buying ornaments and a Christmas banner, and some scrunchie sets, from my precious friends.
My hubby often jokes about how presents are my love language. I’m a seriously big fan of opening presents - they don’t need to be big or expensive, I just love the process of actually opening them! haha While I don’t believe that this is inherently bad, it can lead to a strong focus on receiving presents, and therefor become a distraction from what we are actually celebrating at Christmas.
I don’t wish to pass this down to my children so, this year, Shane and I are making an intentional effort to buy fewer gifts, stay within our budget, and be very thoughtful with what we do select. I think it’s great for the kids to have a fun present, or two, under the tree but I just don’t want it to be our main focus.
Decor - Buying Christmas decor at a store used to be the only option I thought I had. Being crafty has not always being my strongest gift but I’m loving learning more in this department! Between some projects included in the slow + sacred advent, and some simple projects I’ve found on Pinterest, we’re going to tackle adding a few homemade decor items into our Christmas decor.
Presents - With every passing year, the kids become more and more capable of participating in the gifting process. I think its a beautiful thing to be able to guide them in creating gifts to give to our family and friends. While I won’t share exactly what we’re making, so as not to ruin the surprise, it’s fair to say we’re all pretty excited. I love that we can spend time at home, working together, and putting a little bit of ourselves into a gift, instead of just rushing through a busy store.
As I shared above, how we plan to make some decor and gifts as a family, I think its important to include the whole family in planning out the Christmas season. A few weeks ago, we sat down as a family and discussed what we all wanted to do and what was important to us. We all shared a few things we wanted to do and I wrote them all down so we have a sort of "Christmas Bucket List” for this year. The overwhelming conclusion from everyone was that we just wanted to do activities where we get to spend time together as a family. Now everyone has been able to contribute, and as Shane and I plan out the weeks to come, we can take care to incorporate these requests.
What are you doing this year? I love hearing what other families do and maybe snagging my very favourite ideas! ;)
Until I blog again…