Its already November and the holiday ads have started popping up on social media and TV. If you are like me, the holidays usually come and go and I feel like I never fully enjoy them. Whether its too much going on with scheduling or work I don’t really invest in making the most of the holiday time. I never feel that I’ve had enough Christmas music, cookies, time with family, or decorations. So since last year I’ve been formulating a list of things that will help me make the most of the holidays.
Whether you’re on your own this Christmas or have a family, its important to take seriously the traditions you’ve created and to make the most of them when this time comes around. It’s easy to get lost in the gift shopping and party planning and forget to take time to actually enjoy the holidays. Here are 7 ways to make the most of the Holidays this year.
Write one thing you are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving and post them somewhere you can read them each day.
Part of what makes the holidays something special is our attitudes. The position we put our hearts in leading up to the holidays is so important to having a pleasant holiday versus a stressful one. Living a life of gratitude throughout the year, not just around the holidays is crucial to our existence. What are you thankful for? What is it that makes you say “I am extremely blessed!”? There are so many reasons to be thankful and part of the holidays is celebrating those things and putting them on display.
Last year I wrote down each day what I was thankful for and kept them in the cupholder of my car. Each morning as I got in the car I would grab them, flip through them and say a prayer for thanksgiving for all the ways I have been blessed. As we head into thanksgiving, I hope you’ll think of all the ways you are blessed. If its someone you know who you are thankful for, send them a note saying so. I have found that life is to short to let the embarrassment of emotion get in the way of telling people how they have blessed you. If its something that you own that has blessed you- give or share it with someone you know so that they too can be blessed by it. Thanksgiving begins in the heart so reflect, mediate and share so that you can cultivate a more thankful and giving heart this holiday season.
Create a Christmas Playlist
A large part of the holidays is music and the perfect holiday party starts with the perfect holiday playlist. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas albums to add to your collection.
Set aside a day to have a baking fest
Growing up, we would spend a whole day baking our favorite recipes and decorating each cookie with colored frostings and designs. This holiday, invite some friends over and have a day of sharing recipes, watching christmas movies, and baking goodies together.
Buy a holiday outfit
Reflect on Advent by doing an Advent reading or calendar
A good way to get excited about an event is to count down to it. Do an advent calendar this holiday season by making your own. Get excited about being creative or purchase one if you like me have very little time. On a more serious note, doing an advent reading each year is a great way to focus on what the holidays truly mean. Here are two websites that I found have great resources for the advent season.
Decorate your bedroom for the Holidays
One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to invest in holiday bedding. Each Christmas I pull out my holiday sheets and twinkle lights and decorate my bedroom specially for the Christmas season. It may seem silly, I know, but you will be amazed how turning your bedroom into a Christmas cove away from the rest of the holiday decor around the home adds extra spirit and helps wake you up with joyful thoughts! This is my bedding is from Potterybarn and this year they have more great seasonal bedding
Make finding the perfect Christmas tree into an event
My sisters, my dad, and I used to go and pick our Christmas tree out each year at a local tree farm. Running through each lane of trees, finding each trees best parts and greatest defects was one of our favorite things to do. The past two years I’ve sadly gone to Home Depot to retrieve my tree and I can safely say it is not the same experience. This year I am taking the time to drive to a farm, pick out the perfect tree, and drink lots of lots of cocoa while bundled in my layers of clothing.