Take a moment to think about the coming Holiday Season. Are you anticipating a season of rest or stress? Do you feel peaceful, excited, and joyful as you think about the family gatherings, gift shopping, and holiday preparation?
Or do you get a feeling of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm at the thought of hosting a holiday meal, shopping for multiple people, and cooking/baking for both Thanksgiving and Christmas on top of your already busy role as a homemaker?
As a homemaker and mom, this time of year can bring mixed feelings to the forefront. For me, with a lot of young children who have special needs & food allergies, I have often been in the second category described above.
Not to mention my (almost) non-existent cooking skills when it seems everyone’s cooking skills are put on display during this time of year! However, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not about my inadequate party-hosting and cooking skills; they are about gratitude and joy.
More specifically, they are about giving thanks to God for caring for all of our needs through another year and joyfully celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ!
I desire and seek to create a warm, peaceful atmosphere for my children. I don’t want my kids to remember their mom stressing out and causing tension in the home!
I want them to remember me baking, even if I don’t feel like I have the talent to do so. I want them to remember me sharing the true meaning of these holidays with them through words and actions. I want our home to be filled with small and joyful voices singing Christmas carols with me.
I want the holidays to feel restful, not stressful! And I want this holiday season to be the most restful yet!
How about it? Will you join me in working towards a more restful home during the holidays? There are several steps you can take to create a season of rest for both your soul and your body this Holiday Season.
Create A Holiday Season Of Rest
Pray over your holiday plans. Every day throughout the entire Holiday Season. Be in a state of prayer. Lean on Jesus.
Keep The Sabbath Day. Sometimes, when life gets busy, we take the Sabbath Day for granted and use it for another day to get stuff done. But, God gave us a day of rest for a very good reason: to rest! Put aside all of your baking, cooking, cleaning, gift shopping, etc. on the Sabbath Day and use it to be refreshed by God’s Word, reconnect with your husband and kids, and simply do nothing!
Don’t give up Date Night with you man! If at all possible, be sure to sneak a weekly date night with your husband, even in the midst of the crazy busy Holiday Season! This is important for your sanity and your marriage. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant outing, it can be a simple night in, watching a movie and eating take-out after the kids are put to bed.
Focus on giving. I don’t mean just gifts, I mean small acts of kindness. A smile, a pat on the head, cuddling and reading to your kids. Choosing to greet your husband cheerfully, despite the hard day you had. All of these things will bring more rest and peace to your home and your own soul!
Keep things simple – décor, food, gifts, etc.. Whether for your own family celebration or for an extended family celebration, don’t feel guilty if you keep the food simple and the gifts to a minimum. But, bake something for (and with) your kids, even if your kitchen becomes a mess and the cookies turn out less than perfect.
Have an “escape plan” for when you are feeling overwhelmed with holiday prep. Take 10 minutes to pray, journal, sing, or go on a brisk walk. Taking care of yourself is important for mental health, too. Read How to Feel Happy When You’re Feeling Sad for more ideas of finding rest in the midst of stress.
Say “no” to holiday parties. Choosing to attend a limited number of holiday parties is okay! You are in a busy season of young children & homemaking. Be realistic about how many events you can attend without going crazy. If it is a time in your homemaking journey where you need to stay close to home and just celebrate with your husband and kids, then that is fine, too! If you have a new baby or if anyone in your family has a compromised immune system, then staying home is often needed to avoid illness. Do what you have to do!
Simplify your housework. Now is a good time to create a list of what must get done daily and what can be put on hold until after the Holiday Season. You can read my post on 6 daily chores that must get done to get an idea of how I prioritize my housework. This list is perfect for when you can’t put a lot of thought or time into keeping your house clean!
Involve your children. Choose simple, yet meaningful, activities to do with your children. A simple paper link chain to count down the days til Thanksgiving or Christmas, a gratitude list, and an advent calendar are easy ways to keep the focus on what is important.
I love to do an ABCs of Thankfulness list. I sit down with my children and ask them to tell me things they are thankful for that start with each letter. This is also a great lesson in letters and sounds for my youngest children! Older children can have their own ABCs of Thankfulness list and record what they are thankful for along with you. You can take a few minutes each day to jot down the things you are thankful for, with or without your children. The letters are great prompts! Focusing on the blessings found in each day will help minimize the stress in your home and encourage an attitude of joy.
Adding in a lot of extra activities into the already busy season is not a great idea. If you do Advent activities, choose an Advent Calendar that has a restful and simple focus each day. Simply choosing to read Scriptures and performing a small act of kindness each day is ideal. Take the time to slow down and prepare your heart for celebrating the birth of Jesus! Read more about the true purpose & history of the Advent Calendar here.
You can create a season of rest this Holiday Season!
Homemaker’s Holiday Challenge
This is just one post in the Homemaker’s Holiday Challenge series, brought to you by the bloggers behind the Domestically Challenged; Divinely Equipped Facebook group. Join us there for daily encouragement through this 5-day challenge and become a part of an awesome community of Christian homemakers!
Check out the rest of the posts in the Homemaker’s Holiday Challenge below.
How to Create a Memorable Christmas on a Small Budget from Jennifer at The Purposeful Mom
No Clutter November: Less Stuff, More Peace from Stacey at Abiding Woman
A Simple Plan for the Holidays from Tauna at Proverbial Homemaker
Using Traditions to Draw our Families Close Together from Becky at Purposeful Homemaking