Tips for an Inspirational Thanksgiving and Christmas

by Mandy on September 29, 2017 in Holidays

Desiring a more meaningful and inspirational holiday season every year leads me to long for less busyness and more of God. It’s something I strive for every year. This seems like a wonderful goal, doesn’t it? The problem is the holidays come upon me so quickly and I say yes to too many things, so much so that I end up saying, “maybe next year” and I give up. After so many years of feeling defeated, I have finally decided I am going to make it happen this year with The Lord’s help of course.

For multiple reasons, I have been praying for quite some time for The Lord to help me weed out activities and obligations that could be better accomplished by someone else, freeing up my schedule for more meaningful opportunities, divine appointments, and serving God and others in different ways. Less busyness and quiet moments of intentional celebration and worship was the answer.

I am determined to make my Thanksgiving and Christmas season more holy and less hectic. I wondered what that looked like and how I would carry that out. Our Father gave me several ideas:

  • Clear your calendar of the “fluff” and “noise” get back to the basics of worship and celebrating Jesus.
  • Make your home more of a sanctuary by being intentional about family worship.
  • Decorate with items that truly remind you of intentional worship and thanksgiving.
  • Take time each day to stop rushing and sit at The Father’s feet reveling in His wonder and love.
  • Gather with the family on a regular basis through the season to praise The Lord and count blessings

At first I was reluctant because the holidays are full of traditions that we feel are necessary, but I realized these new plans will help us make Thanksgiving and Christmas more about God and less about the outside world. Sure pageants, traveling, shopping, contatas, and the like are not bad in and of themselves. In fact, many of our holiday activities are truly good things. However, they are not always beneficial. Sometimes, when life is chaotic and distracting, we have to remove some of those distractions to get back to the basics–those essentials that truly bring us to our knees and reconnect our hearts with The Lord.

Even though some of my friends and family think I’ve lost my mind, I have decided not to run around during the holiday season attending a myriad of practices and performances of holiday contatas and plays. I’ve decided we cannot possibly attend every party, so we will pray about which ones to attend. We will respectfully say no to others. In their place, I will schedule time celebrating through God’s Word, devotions, prayer, and worship, ushering the presence of The Lord into our home-sanctuary. I will schedule more time to invite others into our home, but I will not allow my Martha nature to make it about appearances, entertainment, or culture, but it will be an intentional service to our guests and Christ-like hospitality.

I have decided to keep the most meaningful traditions, and let the less meaningful go–we will make new, more worshipful traditions. I have determined to decorate a little more simply by focusing on the meaning of the decor and how it connects me to My Heavenly Father, His love, grace and blessings.

I started my decorating plans by creating these simple, but elegant “thankful for” scripture decorations set  with place cards, cupcake toppers, napkin wraps, and garland. I created the files in an editable format, so I can personalize them with guests names on the place cards and napkin wraps to show I am “thankful for” them (AND I can create them for new guests we invite each year). There is a Thanksgiving scripture on the cupcake toppers and on the back of the the place cards, so everyone at the table can be reminded of God’s grace. The garland reminds us to give thanks, and I added blank “thankful for” pieces so guests can list their blessings. I printed all of these on kraft cardstock. I also made a serving tray to celebrate our family with the same elegant leaf wreath theme. I plan to decorate with these treasures early so we can have a longer interval of thanksgiving celebration this year.

The necessity for me to work to help with finances, our homeschool responsibilities, the tasks involved in caring for my family–these are things I cannot completely control. I cannot remove them from my schedule because they are integral parts of the survival of my family and the calling God has placed on our life. However, there are extra things, unnecessary “fluff” that we add as the years go by.

Sometimes we need to take a break from them for a season to refresh and renew, and sometimes we need to let go of them permanently so others can have the opportunity to serve in that position or simply because they are better options for us to explore.

That is what I have purposed to weed through this season. I created a customizable memo board to draw the attention of my family toward our memory verses and other things this season.

I need simplicity. I need peace. I need to rediscover my joy. I just am not superwoman. None of us are. We cannot have it all or do it all. We were never meant to. We were meant for worship and service and that leads not only to holidays which are inspirational and meaningful, but also a meaningful life–the life I’m longing for in this season.

(Permission given to Raising Homemakers for the use of pictures from Treasured Sparrow Designs on this post.)

Mandy

Mandy is a blessed daughter of Jesus Christ. She has the honor and privilege of being a wife to her loving husband since 1993, homeschooling mommy to four blessings, and a happy homemaker. Mandy is a Southern Belle from The Palmetto State. She enjoys inviting women to join her quest for rubies amidst the ruckus of life. One way she accomplishes this by encouraging them on her blog: Motherhood-Ruckus and Rubies based on Proverbs 31. She is a Trim Healthy Mama, whose favorite past times include being a wife and mommy, camping with her family, reading, gardening, cooking, singing, fashion, piano, decorating, crafting, and grabbing anything chocolate and a cup of coffee with friends.

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