Rooting around in that first Christmas box we found the Christmas ornaments.
Gradually unfolding each ornament, the boys tried to guess who made what and wished they had been more diligent about putting their names on things. Like most families we are blessed with one son who keeps the facts like this all straight and was happy to share who did what in nursery, primary school, or we did at home, which teacher and which place.
This year was a mainly hands off Christmas tree decorating for me. I sat there to referee and be the keeper of the atmosphere. But they didn’t need me.
It’s wonderful when things unfold gently and unexpectedly. It’s a welcome break in full on time of family. Naturally we want to encourage more together moments, downtime that’s whine free and less of the I wants that creep in at this time of year. To do so we have to be intentional. Intentional at a busy time. It’s why I wrote: gift yourself a simple holiday season to help us easily plan then implement in your families. The mantra in our head should be: Simplify Christmas. Simplify Christmas.
The family atmosphere has the potential to change during Advent and this Christmas time. It’s up to us how that happens. Here’s a few ways we can make a difference with the family atmosphere to have what we want. I’ve used the questions from the book to guide how we will have our family holiday season and simplify Christmas.
Honor your time
Putting the down times on the calendar makes slowing down and maintaining that boundary much easier. It’s easy to add too many things into our schedule. It’s a little easier holding the space for slow.We’re starting our audiobook that’s Christmas themed so I must find the time to do it each day.
Get the advent calendars out and be prepared to update a few activities to suit the growing family.
Honor your hands
Often it is our feet that get us moving around doing too much; rushing to this place and that. If we focus on activities for the hands we can find we just slow down too. I’m excited to get back to some felting, I think the boys will tackle this star as a decoration. The star lantern tutorial looks beautiful. It has enough challenge for us to take our time doing it. With the imminent release of the next Star Wars Movie we just have to make these amazing Star Wars Tin lanterns.
Honor your curiosity and imagination
As the children are older this year is there a tradition or new ritual you’d like to try or adapt. We don’t need to be rooted to what we’ve always done, although it is lovely. Adding something different and new brings the season alive and with a new focus.
Honor your past
Knowing that family might be coming it’s time to start thinking of the family conversations and questions. Apart from this printable, what other conversation would bring the season alive? Remembering to serve others older like trips to the sick and shut in and homes. Phone calls to family. Digging out photographs of Christmas past of the children, the family, your Christmas.
What’s your Christmas and Advent time going to be like?
Spend 10 minutes filling out this printable for you and ask your family the answers to the middle questions. Why simplify Christmas? to enjoy the season, live and breath the memories without being exhausted or sick or pulled on someone else’s agenda.