And the exhaustion.
But before throwing a pity-party for not living up to my high pre-children expectations, I had to remind myself of something. Christmas and the Advent season is not all about those over-the-top “intentional mom” things. It’s about celebrating the humble first coming and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ who lived the perfect life, died the horrible death, conquered the grave, and saves sinners like you and I. It’s also about looking forward to the glorious second coming of Christ, when sin and death will ultimately be defeated and believers will live with Christ in perfection and joy forever.
So instead of running around like a mad woman trying to “do it all" this year, I’m finding simple moments of joy, cultivating Christmas good will with family, and reflecting on Christ’s meek birth and future magnificent return. If my story sounds a little or a lot like you, join me this year in focusing hearts on the real reason for the season.
To get you started, here are 7 simple ways to find and share joy this Christmas:
- Invite an elderly neighbour or lonely acquaintance to join you for Christmas caroling at your local church. Bonus if you can grab an aunt or uncle or two to come along and help you manage your little ones while belting out tunes.
- Complete a Christmas advent devotional plan individually or with your family to center hearts on Christ.
- Create Christmas Cards with your children to give to widows in the church or to send to family members that live far away. Let your kids get creative — think: markers, paint, glitter, glue, stickers, and other embellishments.
- Read Christmas stories to the kiddos that point to Christ as the reason to celebrate. And don't forget the original Christmas narrative from Luke 2. Take in the awe and wonder of His birth from a kid’s point of view.
- Here's some ideas from Pinterest.
- Relax in a warm bubble bath with Christmas carol background music after a busy day once the kids are in bed. Bonus if you have any holiday scented candles.
- Here are my current bath time relaxation tunes: A Child is Born playlist
- Go old school and make a CD mix of favourite Christmas songs to play in the car on road trips. If you’re up to it, get the family to sing along!
- Bake Christmas goodies and bring them to the neighbors with an invitation to the Christmas day church service or to celebrate a Christmas dinner with you. No time to bake? Try gifting pre-made cookie platters, fresh fruit baskets, chocolates, poinsettias, or the homemade Christmas cards instead.