This December, I have big plans for our family. More time enjoying the season and less time getting stuck in the hustle and bustle. (Don’t I say this every year?!) To do this, I’ve mentally planned out our month in order to really enjoy our Christmas season.
This year is the first year Landon has really pushed hard for presents. I want this. I’m asking Santa for that. I’m getting that. I think that makes this the perfect time to start addressing the Christmas holiday and really change his focus. Yes, he knows that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and some of the meaning behind it, but what a great time for Dean and I to show him by example what Christmastime can mean when we change the focus from gifts to serving and family fun. I want to cut back on the me-me-me of this time of year and just focus on the little things.
Dean and I were talking the other day about the holidays and how this is our favorite time of year, but it’s not as fun as we remember it as children. That just enforced that these are the best holiday years for our kids. The wonder. The anticipation and excitement. The lights. The family time. The activities. All opportunities for us as parents to continue developing our holiday season and making it what we want it to be for our kids.
So in December, I have the following goals.
1. Get in the spirit. We must do at least one Christmas activity each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I remember when I was little loving the little activities we did to get into the spirit. I want to make sure that Christmas doesn’t just fly up on us where we lose the weeks preparing for it and thinking about it.
The activity can be something time-consuming – like buying and decorating the tree – or quick – like reading our kids Christmas stories about Jesus’ birth.
Here are some of the things we’ll be doing this month:
– driving around to see Christmas lights – maybe McAdenville or another nearby neighborhood with tons of great lights
– hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows
– playing with our kids nativity set
– decorate our own Christmas ornaments
– set up our Christmas lights
– make cookies for friends, teachers, etc.
– listening to/singing Christmas carols
2. Serve others. We are doing a serve project with our couples bible study and Landon will be old enough to participate this year. I’d also like to give treats to the firemen with my sister and then also do another family activity. Maybe collect/purchase some blankets to give to a charity in need? Maybe serve a meal? Buy items for a family in need? I’m not sure what this will look like exactly but I know that it should involve both our time and our money.
3. Church activities. Spending time with our eGroup. Celebrating during Elevation’s Christmas Eve service. Giving a sacrificial tithe during our Surround campaign. There is a lot going on through our church and it’s so important for us to make our church family a priority.
4. Hang out with family and friends. Seeing Dean’s family, hanging out with my family, spending time with our close friends, there are a lot of fun dates circled on our calendar. I want to be intentional with how we spend our days and make sure we don’t get overwhelmed with too many things, but also really enjoying this time of the year with others. Reading the Best Yes this fall has it fresh in my mind and I love that I can focus on the most important activities and feel ok saying no to other things.
5. Get my shopping done early and under budget. This year I want to be strict with our Christmas spending. Instead of buying lots of gifts, we can put that excess towards our year-end tithe. Instead of lots of toys that will sit untouched in the corners of our playroom, I want to do activities and make memories with our kids. I tend to wait until the last minute and then just go hog wild buying so I can be done. This year, I want to get done early and then avoid the chaos in the stores that makes me so angry and annoyed this time of year.
6. Make our Elf on the Shelf a little busy this year. (Key word: little – as in a few times!) In the past we’ve just moved “Pea” from place to place. And I plan to do that for much of this month, as well. But as we get closer to Christmas, I have a few ideas up my sleeves to get my boys super excited about waking up in the morning! Pea might be a little mischievous or funny or sweet. But my goal is to do just a couple of the bigger and involved set ups for my boys to find in the mornings. They’re at an age where they are just loving Pea and talking with him during the day, why not take it a teensy bit further than just moving him from spot to spot at night?
7. Exercise consistently. December is my least favorite time of the year to exercise. Partially because of the cold weather, partially because it’s such a busy month. But this year, I have a goal (with my husband) to exercise consistently 4 days a week from now until Christmas. I know, nothing to crazy, but I’m putting it out there in the hopes that I will stick to it. And exercising a few days a week will keep away the guilt that comes with all the luxurious and delicious items I’ll be eating all month. Oh Christmas treats, I love you!
So go ahead, share some of your December goals. I think that if you put them out there, you’re more likely to stick with it! How are you going to spend the next 3 weeks?