How to Plan for a Lovely Holiday Season

by June Fuentes on November 11, 2017 in Holidays

 

We are quickly approaching what is for some women the most dreaded time of the year – the holiday season! We have largely allowed our culture’s priorities and expectations to color our viewpoint of this special time, turning it from the peaceful, fun, memorable experience it was meant to be into a season of over-the-top hustle and bustle, busyness, stress, and endless to-do lists.

There is a better way, ladies! We have another option. We do not have to fall prey any longer to the breakneck speed of how the culture does the holiday season. We have the freedom and ability to take action, to be intentional, and to craft the kind of festive season that we have always dreamed of for ourselves and our families. It’s up to us!

Today I want to share with you ladies four practical ways you can intentionally go about making the most of these last several weeks leading up to the holidays in order to make it the most peaceful, beautiful, impactful season it can possibly be. Let’s get started!

 

4 Steps Towards Creating a Beautiful Holiday Season

 

Ask your family!

We live in the age of Pinterest, in which we mistakenly believe we have to make all the crafts, cook and bake all the recipes, host all the events, and take in all the holiday experiences in order for our holidays to count for anything. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are not living to impress or please the culture (at least we shouldn’t be!). We should be living to first and foremost please the Lord, and part of doing so is prioritizing our own families and their unique interests and desires. So, here’s what I want you to do: sit down with each member of your family and ask him or her what traditions, foods, and events mean the most to them. Find out what says “Thanksgiving” or “Christmas” to them and what they have been really looking forward to doing. Then make a list of those things.

We all want to make the holidays special and memorable for our families. The problem comes when we race ahead with things we assume will constitute as special and imagine ourselves to have to plan a holiday to-do list a mile long, when instead all we have to do to make the most of the holiday season before us is simply ask our families what they would enjoy. It’ll save you so much stress if you do this, and will truly make the holidays meaningful.

 

Practice the right priorities.

What are your true priorities for the holiday season? To keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, to serve others, to have fun and make memories with your family, and to try out new festive recipes? Or is it to cram as much as you possibly can into the months of November and December, fill your to-do list to the brim with busyness and stress, and “keep up with the Joneses” as you try to impress others with your holiday festivities? After you have answered that question, ask yourself – is the way you are living your life right now and the way you plan to live it in the coming months reflecting those priorities?

 

Plan ahead of time.

We have the time and opportunity right now to prep for what could be the best holiday season of our lives thus far! And if we seize this opportunity, it will make a world of difference, because that is usually what causes so much of our stress – a failure to take a little time to pre-plan and prepare for what we want to do.

So here is what I propose: once you have made a list of the recipes your family would like to try, the holiday parties they would like to host and/or attend, the crafts they would like to make, etc., take your calendar for the next couple months and begin plugging those things into it. Find a day for pumpkin carving, pick a day for baking the gingerbread cookies, schedule that Christmas party, etc. This will help in two ways – it will show you ahead of time that you truly do have ample time and opportunity for those things which are of the most importance to you and your family, and, conversely, it will also show you where you may not have time for all the Pinterest ideas out there, thereby saving you from the stress of even attempting to “do it all”. This will go a long way in aiding you in your mission of cultivating an atmosphere of calm, warmth, peace, joy, and excitement this holiday season.

 

Stay in your own lane.

Something that oftentimes gets us women into trouble is our tendency to compare ourselves to each other. We end up thinking we have to be perfect, that we have to “do all the things”, impress others with our abilities, and do every single thing another mom is doing. But here is the truth: we don’t!

God never called us to be cookie-cutter versions of one another or to run ourselves ragged attempting to imitate each other. He called us to imitate Him. He called us to live the life He has uniquely called us to, not the life He predestined for another woman. We were each given unique husbands, unique children, and unique family dynamics and life circumstances. We all have different personalities, different needs, and different desires. Our holiday-celebrating, then, should beautifully and creatively reflect those God-given differences. We loose a bit of that special uniqueness, however, when we instead try to copy everything someone else is doing.

This year, rather than thinking we have to decorate, bake, or practice hospitality in the exact same way our best friend, mom, sister, or favorite blogger is doing so, let us instead look to the Lord, seek His wisdom, and ponder how He created our particular family to be. Let’s instead plan for the holidays with our family in mind (and with them included in the planning!), not another person’s family.

 

Remember the Reason for the Season

I know it is a bit cliche these days to say this, but it’s true – we need to remember the reason for the season. That reason is not to be Pinterest-perfect. It is not to impress our neighbors. It is not to “do all the things”. It is to keep our eyes fixed on Christ. It is to commemorate and remember the incarnation of Christ and its implications. It is to love on our families and the folks around us and, in so doing, point them to Christ.

That’s what this season is truly about. The decor, the songs, the cookies, and the parties are just secondary, fun little pursuits to make the season extra special. Therefore, if we keep first things first and emphasize Christ above all this holiday season, it will truly be a lovely holiday season to remember!

 

REBEKAH HARGRAVES IS A WIFE, MAMA OF TWO LITTLES, HOME BUSINESS OWNER, PODCASTER, AND BLOGGER RESIDING IN TN. HER PASSION IS TO BLESS FELLOW CHRISTIAN WOMEN THROUGH HER WRITINGS ON HER WEBSITE, HARGRAVES HOME AND HEARTH, WHICH EXISTS TO EDIFY, EQUIP, AND ENCOURAGE WOMEN IN THEIR JOURNEY OF BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD.

Website – Hargraves Home and Hearth

Facebook – Hargraves Home and Hearth

Instagram – @rebekahhargraves

Twitter – @hhomeandhearth 

 

June Fuentes

June Fuentes is the happy wife to Steve and blessed homeschooling mother to eight beautiful children that they are raising for the Lord. She has a heart to see mothers all around the world grasp the vision of biblical motherhood and to see this noble role restored in the 21st century to the glory of God. June strongly believes that weak homes equate a weak nation and therefore blogs at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home to minister to Christian women on how to build up strong Christian homes. She is also the owner of Raising Homemakers, and is the author of the encouraging eBooks, True Christian Motherhood and How to Build a Strong Christian Home. She is the founder of Wise Woman Consulting, her service to teach women how to successfully make money blogging at home and a consultant for Lilla Rose, where you can find unique and beautiful hair products. She would love for you to join her on the journey to biblical womanhood on Facebook and Twitter at @wisewomanbuilds.

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