A Centered Holiday Season

December 5, 2019, Shirley Blake

It is December and we are in the thick of holiday season celebrations. This is my eighth holiday season as a parent and I feel confident in how I celebrate. To me, focusing on simplicity makes for a more peaceful and joyous holiday season. More importantly, it honors the true spirit of the holiday season by allowing space to enjoy time with our cherished ones.

Our oldest son was the first grandchild and nephew for both our families, and our first experience as parents, so holidays became very exciting. Everything was joyful, but I tried to do it all, which meant trying to participate in many events and festive activities as possible. If you look at the holiday season, it is only about a month long, so on top of everyday routines, there is not much free time for extra activities. I tried to cram everything in, and well, that does not bring peace. Those first holiday seasons taught me that peace is extremely important to my family and me.

This holiday season I plan to focus on simplicity, peace, and joy. All three things align well together and can inspire a great ambiance this season.

How am I nurturing simplicity this holiday season? I chose to focus on three areas – planning gifts, minimal decorations, and honoring my family’s needs. Simplicity with gifts meant planning for my sons’ gifts early, and discussing gift plans with my husband so we are on the same page. Minimal holiday decorations meant choosing the most important items that had meaning to me. And I gave myself permission to say “No” and remind myself I am not obligated to dishonor my budget.

Peace for me is having time to rest and relax. The holidays are a busy time so being able to hang out at home with my guys and drink a warm hot cocoa by the fireplace is okay with me. I can create peace within my home, knowing that is important for me. The pressure to do more is real in our society. Saying no to doing more is important and supports efforts on keeping things simple.

And, I am up for saying yes to activities that my family will find joy in. I am full of ideas and desires to do all sorts of activities, but before I commit and plan I have learned how important it is to ask others involved for their consent and feedback. I am not a fan of when people plan my free time for me without my feedback. I make sure to ask my husband and children what they would like to do before I make a plan or purchase tickets for an outing. This way joy is truly present for all of us.

Keeping joy in the season is an important goal of mine. So many distractions make this time more complicated, chaotic, and stressful. By focusing on simplicity, peace, and joy during the holiday season, I honor the true spirit of the holiday season and have space to enjoy time with my cherished ones.

For reflection, what would you like to focus on this holiday season?

I hope as we plan, shop, and actively live out this holiday season that you may find peace and joy. Remember keeping things simple is a great way to ensure a delightful season.

Peace,

Shirley