Are you feeling the busy-ness of the season yet? I know that I am.
Last week we ditched the things that were keeping us from doing what’s most important. I hope you tried it, because boy does it feel awesome to let go of those things that time suckers.
This week, as I work to keep peace and simplicity amidst the abundant additions to my schedule and find myself having some better days than others (I know you understand this!), here are some tips for having a peaceful Christmas season. I’ve done quite a few of these lately and it feels so peaceful amidst the chaos. What a difference it makes to do little things that mean a lot for others – and ourselves.
Here are 15 ways to give peace and have more for yourself this holiday season:
- Let people in when you’re in heavy traffic (car or people traffic). Some people call it paying it forward. I call it being kind. 🙂 Share kindness.
- Let someone in front of you in the store, especially if your cart is full. They will appreciate it and will possibly do the same for someone else. Even better, if someone is short on cash or savings for their Christmas purchases, offer to help pay up the rest or give what you can. Be a Christmas angel and feel the true spirit of love and giving.
- Pay someone else’s toll. One of my favorites! If you’re really fired up, pay for the five cars behind you. Again, share kindness. It’s only coins or a few dollars. Skip your coffee shop treat and make someone’s day.
- Forgive someone. Yes, I know. This can be really hard. Pride gets us stuck and we don’t want to deal with it. How about inviting peace in a relationship where there is otherwise hardness, sorrow, anxiety, pride, ____________(insert your own emotion). Forgiveness brings peace that passes understanding – it doesn’t mean that it’s easy or your first preference, but it does bring a calm heart. God wants us to forgive so that we can love others – and ourselves – bigger and more fully.
- Give generously to others. Yes, put your change in the red Salvation Army bucket even if it doesn’t feel like enough. Every coin matters. Pick one charity that’s important to you and make an unexpected donation (small is okay too!) to give back for the generosity you’ve received this year. Other ideas include adopt a family, pick an angel from an Angel Tree or donate to Toys for Tots.
- Buy a meal for someone who is hungry, donate to a Food Bank, and/or volunteer your time to help feed and nourish others.
- Ride around and look at decorations after dark. Pickup your favorite hot beverage and enjoy the view. Play Christmas songs that bring you sing-along joy. It’s beautiful to see how this season lights up the world. Look for the Griswold’s!
- Call a life-long friend for a phone date one evening. There’s something so magical about being with people who know your soul.
- Watch all of the old classic movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Christmas Story, The Sound of Music, and of course, Christmas Vacation.
- Make a family cookie recipe and get over the guilt of eating indulgently. We know sugar isn’t good for us, but neither is missing out on the good things in life. Take it in moderation and give away what you’re too afraid you may eat in one sitting!
- Take time for tea (or coffee or wine or water – you choose). Sit, be still, and enjoy the comfort.
- Let go. Stop needing to be perfect. Stop trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of yourself (and others!). Be present with things as they are. God will guide you to do what you need to. Let everything else go and it will happen if it’s supposed to.
- Give generously to yourself. What? Yes. Yes. Yes. Take good care of yourself. Schedule real time for self-care: however you define it. Walk in the woods, go for a run, have a pumpkin spice latte while sitting down to enjoy it, get a mani/pedi, massage or take a long indulgent bath. Attend an extra service at church even when you think you don’t have time.
- Stop to listen, look, and inhale all that is beautifully sensory about the Christmas season.
- Envision you’re really there in Bethlehem. Ever since I became a Mom, the Christmas story has been more powerful as I think of Mary and her journey into motherhood, especially as Jesus’ mother. Imagine being Mary, nine months pregnant, and traveling all of those awkward moments and hours on the back of a donkey only to find out that in her utter exhaustion there was nowhere for her to sleep but a stable. Yet, she said YES to God the whole time and didn’t waver. She gave birth to a beautiful boy that would become a true light to the world – a savior everyone needed then and now – isn’t that so true!
- Add yours here:____________________
Sending you light, love, and peace this week. Be sure to share what you’d add to this list on Facebook or send me a personal message with your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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