We all want a memorable Christmas. Yet as mothers, we put additional pressure on ourselves to make Christmas a special, magical, and memorable event for our children. Well, guess what? While there are some things you can control, the Christmas season, like most other things in our lives, can’t be controlled.
Today I want to share some insights I’ve gleaned in creating a memorable Christmas with less stress and more peace.
Come mid-November, my children are READY for Christmas. They want the tree up, the lights on, and the music playing. I think this eagerness is simply because they believe the sooner we make preparations, the faster this beloved holiday will come.
For the past few years, I’ve sat down with my children before the Christmas season and reflected on what was important to them during the holidays. I use my Christmas planner to reminisce about the previous year and to plan for the coming year.
I do this for a few reasons:
1- I can plan the month to include the activities that mean the most to them.
2- We can prepare for things like writing Christmas cards and purchasing gifts.
3- I can gauge what they like the most. Because why bake that particular Christmas cookie every year if it’s not a favourite?
This year as I sat down to discuss Christmas with my children, I got a whole new perspective and insight.
With pen and paper in hand, I asked my children what their most beloved Christmas memories were. They paused and then shared various treasured memories from Christmases past:
“I remember one Christmas, I looked out the window and the snow was sparkling like diamonds and the trees were white, and it looked so beautiful.”
“My favourite Christmas memory was the year I made you a coffee mug. You cried. And I knew you loved your gift. And it was so special.”
“I love standing in the church on Christmas Eve and everyone is holding candles. It’s so pretty.”
“I remember the year when we saw a white bunny outside our window.”
“I love laying under the Christmas tree and looking up at all the colourful lights.”
As I jotted these things down, I was hit with a moment of complete clarity. Most of my children’s beloved and cherished memories were not something I could create or control.
I can’t control the weather and make the trees frost over for Christmas morning. I can’t predict my reaction when I’m given a gift from my children. I don’t decide if the church will have a candlelit service or not. I can’t make a rabbit appear outside our living room window. I didn’t tell my children to lay under the Christmas tree to look at the lights.
This realization was freeing.
My children didn’t mention the plates overflowing with baked goods. They didn’t reminisce about the Christmas Book Advent Calendar that we faithfully do every year. They didn’t reflect on the BIG gift they received or their Christmas stockings. They shared special moments.
Christmas is something to be experienced and felt… not controlled. And the most meaningful moments are the ones where there is pause, rest, and space for reflection.
Creating a Memorable Christmas With Less Stress and More Peace
So what can you do to create a memorable Christmas with less stress and more peace?
Create space in your days.
Rather than saying yes to all the things, take some time to slow down. Say no to some events and activities. Sometimes we think that an event or a particular experience will fill us with the Christmas spirit, when in actuality, the pressure of the event can detract from the season.
Take moments to pause and enjoy the great outdoors. Go for a nature walk. Step outside when the snow is falling. Watch the birds and the animals around you – observe their movements and patterns.
Let go of needless traditions.
Every year we watch the same Christmas shows. We HAVE TO go look at the lights on Candy Cane Lane. Every year we decorate gingerbread men. We have these traditions that while they’re lovely, they can also be burdensome. Free yourself of a few things that you do every year.
Often the biggest stressors during the Christmas season are the expectations that we place on ourselves to make everything perfect. Allow for flexibility and welcome a change of pace. Our rigidity in plans and activities can zap peace from our lives. Allow your plans and occasions to be interrupted – you may be surprised at what comes of it.
Spend time in the word of God.
I recently discovered that the book of Luke is exactly 24 chapters long. Every day I read a chapter from this beloved book of the Bible and I reflect on it. By Christmas day, I will have read and followed Jesus’ entire life story. It’s a powerful way to experience the true reason for the season. The birth of our Lord, His perfect life, the grace offered through His sacrifice, and the freedom from sin. The power of scripture will make your Christmas especially meaningful.
Beautiful mama, you aren’t responsible for creating a magical or memorable Christmas. Step back and let the true beauty of this holiday have the chance to fill you and your children with awe and wonder. May you and your family be blessed with a beautiful Christmas filled with peace.