Creating holiday memories doesn’t have to be stressful! If you’re ready to simplify traditions, release the pressure of perfection, and make Jesus’ birth the central focus of Christmas, this is for you. Stress-free memories are all about doing what works for you and your family right now in a realistic way. Once you decide what you will prioritize with your family, you can simplify and plan out your traditions. Doing so will give you the confidence to tune out all the noise and focus on what truly matters this Christmas.
The holiday season, while filled with joy and warmth, can also become a whirlwind of stress for many moms, especially those of us wanting to create beautiful holiday memories. The desire to make the holidays special for our families can become overwhelming, leaving us feeling exhausted and stressed. However, it is totally possible to embrace a season of peace and create lasting holiday memories with our children without letting stress overwhelm us. Today we’ll look at some practical ways to do just that! P.S – I’ve got a free download to help you work through all of this and get started.
1. Simplify Traditions:
Simplicity is key when creating stress-free holiday memories. As tempting as it may be to cram in baking cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, and seeing Christmas lights while making homemade hot chocolate bombs and the 27 craft ideas saved to your Pinterest board, it may not be realistic to fit all of these things into your schedule and that’s okay! In order to simplify traditions, we must first define what truly matters to our family during the holidays. Prioritize activities that align with your values and energy levels, letting go of the pressure to do it all. Instead of overwhelming yourself with everything you see being shared on socials, decide which traditions hold the most meaning and bring joy to your household. That includes you! What do you and your family naturally enjoy? What do you have the time and mental capacity for? Then sprinkle traditions throughout the holiday season that everyone will enjoy.
2. Set Realistic Expectations:
Speaking of Pinterest, let’s be honest. Most of us are moms of little kids. It may or may not be the season (literally or figuratively) for sparkling white anything or a perfectly decorated Christmas tree that looks like it fell out of a Southern Living magazine. That’s o-kay. The holidays don’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable or memorable. Avoid the trap of trying to do everything perfectly, understanding that it’s okay to not have Pinterest-perfect decorations or elaborate plans for every day of the season. Preaching to myself here! I’m constantly reminding myself that my kids don’t necessarily want extravagant events, but simple moments of love and connection instead. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your family throughout the holidays to make them stress-free. Focus on creating meaningful experiences rather than trying to meet unrealistic standards. Embrace imperfections and allow grace to permeate how you celebrate this holiday season.
3. Prioritize Time for Yourself:
I know what you’re thinking, “Is this a joke?”. Trust me, I get it. Finding time for yourself is a bit laughable, especially as a mom of multiple kids or young kids, working at home or outside of the home, homeschooling, or just existing in our nonstop world. But it is possible and absolutely necessary to prioritize time for yourself in order to create stress-free memories. After all, how can you create memories without stress if you’re constantly overwhelmed and freaking out on everyone around you?! Don’t ask me how I know. I know it seems impossible at times, but do your best to make time for yourself this holiday season. Whether it’s getting up a little bit earlier for some peace and quiet, moving your body, getting outside for fresh air, reading, or simply doing something you enjoy, when you take a little time for yourself you will feel so much better. Utilize nap times, early mornings, or the evenings before bed to intentionally refill your tank. When you feel rested and rejuvenated or at least a little more grounded, you’re more likely to have the capacity to handle whatever the holidays throw at you.
4. Reflect on the True Meaning:
Amidst the “hustle and bustle”, it’s easy to get caught up in the material aspects of the holidays—gifts, decorations, festivities, and gatherings. However, the essence of Christmas lies in the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. When we intentionally pause to reflect on the miracle that is Jesus’ birth and what it means for all who believe, it helps realign our focus and reconnect with the heart of the season. Whether through prayer, meditation, or devotional readings, grounding ourselves in the true meaning of what we’re celebrating and why can remind us of what’s actually important during the holiday season. Centering our hearts on Jesus requires an intentional redirection of our thoughts toward Christ. As we fix our gaze on His unchanging character and the deep love He has for us, our perspective shifts and things which hold eternal value come into focus. This is a season of hope. Stress dissolves as we rest in its true meaning. Colossians 3:1-2 Paul gives these instructions, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
As the holiday season approaches, remember that creating stress-free memories isn’t about keeping up with anyone else’s Christmas bucket list or striving for perfection. It’s about cherishing moments of joy, peace, and time together that align with your family’s values and your capacity. Embrace the beauty in simplicity, prioritize your well-being, and release expectations of perfection. In doing so, you’ll not only craft meaningful holiday memories but you’ll actually enjoy them as well! I’ve created this free resource to help get you started.