5 Tips to Help Us Enjoy Christmas This Year

Christmas is one of my very favorite times of the year, especially now that I have three little ones. I love creating a space to make memories with my family, transforming our home into a place that makes their little eyes light up joy.

If you’re anything like me, you have grand plans for the holidays when October rolls around. You’ve filled your holiday Pinterest boards with homemade wreaths in beautiful neutrals, and berry filled mason jars that will transform your kitchen table into something you’d see in a magazine — this is the year that you’re going to accomplish it all, right?

I totally get it. Being the good wife and mama that you are, you probably feel compelled to do #AllTheThings, because you want to make sure this is a holiday season to remember. But what if I told you that you’ve already got enough on your plate. This time of year isn’t supposed to give you bags under your eyes. It should be fun — filled with lots of life and laughter inside the four walls of your home. And the fun really happens when you focus on what matters most about this season — Jesus and your people. When you give yourself grace to enjoy the holidays (rather than allowing stress to weigh you down as you try to make them picture-perfect) it becomes a little easier to enjoy the season with the people who mean the most to you.

Alright. I know you still have visions of Pinterest dancing around in your head. I get it, because I’m a recovering perfectionist, too. I’m going to need you to leave behind your ideas of Pinterest-perfection, put your blinders on, and take my hand. We’re not going to compare your holiday plans to anyone else’s. This year, your holiday plans and traditions are going to work for your family.

Remember: celebrating our Savior and enjoying our families are what matter most.

Here are five simple tips to enjoying the holidays this year:

Tip #1: Make a plan. Take out your planner and start writing down dates. What parties are you going to attend this year? Which family recipe will you bring to the Christmas Eve dinner? Are you going to start a new tradition this year. Write it all down! Managing all of these expectations ahead of time will help you stay sane when the busy Christmas season tries to knock you off your feet.

Tip #2: Enlist some elves for help. My little ones love helping me decorate our home for Christmas. The holidays aren’t meant to be a one-woman show — they’re meant to be celebrated with friends and family. Your kiddos will always cherish trimming the tree and snipping paper snowflakes to hang in their rooms, so put some Christmas music on, make some hot cocoa, and get busy as a family!

Tip #3: Express your thankfulness. This one is easy to forget when we get caught up in the busyness of the season. But it’s also one of the most important. We all start out the holiday season with the best of intentions to write “thank-you’s” and express our gratitude to everyone in our village who help us do life throughout the year. This year, make it a priority and don’t let it slip away. Write a note to your mailman for delivering packages to your house day after day. Show gratitude to your little ones’ teachers by bringing them coffee to get through the long days leading up to Christmas break. A little bit of kindness during the holidays can go a long way!

Tip #4: Fill your tank. Having the prettiest house on the block won’t matter if you’re too exhausted to enjoy the people inside of it (remember, they’re the ones that matter most). Take time to embrace the grace of the season. Watch your kids squeal with excitement when they meet Santa at the mall. Enjoy quiet nights with your family, driving around the neighborhood to soak in the beautiful sights of the season. Remember, good memories don’t require complicated recipes or elaborate centerpieces — just a lot of love (and maybe a few marshmallows in your hot cocoa).

Tip #5: After the big guy comes… Take advantage of post-season sales. Invest in reusable storage bins. Clear the clutter. Break out the label maker. Set yourself up for another memorable holiday season by putting things away neatly. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your precious keepsakes are safe throughout the year, and next year, you’ll have everything you need, all in one place, to start making new memories again next year — without the Pinterest-perfection guilt.

Original article for Faith.Full by Emily Ley, author of A Simplified Life.

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Your Turn

Ok, sisters, let’s kick the Pinterest-perfection guilt to the curb for good! This year, our holiday plans and traditions are going to work for our families. We want to enjoy this awesome season of celebrating Jesus and lots of life and laughter with our people. What are you planning? How are you planning to fill your tank throughout the Christmas season? Come share with us on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full

A Simplified Life

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Emily Ley
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Emily Ley

Emily Ley is Founder and Creative Director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts. She is also the creator of the bestselling Simplified Planner—a daily agenda for what matters most. Raised in Pensacola, Florida (home of the most beautiful beaches you ever did see), Emily graduated from the University of West Florida with degrees in English, creative writing, and public administration and then went on to become the executive director of the city ballet. From there, she worked in nonprofit management and public relations before launching her brand in 2008. Following the success found at its online home, EmilyLey.com, the Emily Ley brand quickly grew to be carried in over 500 retail outlets across the United States and around the world. Emily has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product—Desktop (for the 2015 Simplified Planner®) at the National Stationery Show as well as Top 10 Designers to Watch in 2015 by Stationery Trends Magazine. Now as a businesswoman, wife, and mama to three, Emily enjoys Friday pizza parties on the living room floor, strong cappuccinos with her college-crush-turned-husband, and making memories to savor for a lifetime with her twins and preschooler.

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