Making memories with my children is one of my favorite things about being a mother. I love seeing the faces of my three boys as they enjoy family fun with loud, boisterous laughter. With the holiday season now upon us, it is my favorite time of year. Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday all fall in the last 45 days for the year! FUN!
As we move into this busy season, it is easy to move from one thing to the next quickly. In the past, I have found myself at the end of it all wondering where the time went. I’ve sat by myself at the end of the holiday season kicking myself for just being on the go so much that I didn’t really enjoy it the way that I should have. Last year, I told myself that I wasn’t going to do that again. Since then, I have taken steps to be more intentional enjoying each day…and my family. I want my family to look back and savor the memories that we made - not regret how we allowed the busyness of the season to take over our lives. Click To Tweet
This year, I decided to implement three things to make sure that my family is able to enjoy time spent with each other.
1.) I’m not going to over-schedule myself. I recognize this can be much easier said than done. After all, there are Christmas parties at work or school. There are Christmas programs at church, homeschool coop, clubs, Scouts, moms groups, birthday parties, anniversary dinners and so much more. It just wouldn’t feel right not attending. Often we commit to so many different things because we don’t want to miss all of the GREAT things that are happening. We also don’t want to feel like we are letting anyone down. But what happens during this time? We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything that is happening around us that we don’t get to enjoy time with those who are most important to us. We don’t get the chance to make precious memories with our own family because we are exhausted. Isn’t that what it is all about? I decided to do something different. I’m intentionally going to savor those precious moments with my family and enjoy the memories that are being made. I can’t get those moments back. I am going to send well wishes or catch up with someone later to talk about any events that I will miss. It may not be the same but my presence with my family will speak volumes to them and mean so much to me….and so will yours.
2) Make fun memories! This is one of my favorite things to do with my family each year. As the holiday season gets underway, I love following traditions and creating new memories. As we get closer to Christmas, we shorten our homeschool days a bit and even incorporate more pajama days. Christmas morning is always “new” pajama and movie day. Everyone chooses a movie — A Charlie Brown Christmas always wins for the classic category. But we also pull out favorites like White Christmas, Finding Nemo and a host of others. We enjoy popcorn, sweet treats and just enjoy each other all day long. It is such a sweet time.
This year, I am excited about introducing a new Advent activity to our children that is sure to create more fun memories while we homeschool. It’s called Shepherd on the Search and was just launched by Dayspring. The Shepherd on the Search is a beautiful activity that they entire family can enjoy. As I hide the shepherd each night, my boys will set off looking for it each morning. This will afford me the opportunity to share the story of Jesus again with them. It’s a fantastic activity that builds in intensity as the days get closer to Christmas. It’s also a wonderful supplement to our Bible study time during our homeschool day.
3) I am going to allow saying no to make me joyful. Wait – what? Stay with me for a moment friend. Yes, during the busiest time of the year, I have decided that I am going to say “no” more and still have joy doing it. By saying no, it is going to allow me to make spending time with the people who I love the most in my life a priority. It’s going to allow me to enjoy the time that I get to spend with my husband. Last summer, he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. He spent months in an aggressive treatment plan and last Christmas, he was not himself. He was feeling very tired and not feeling well. While we were very thankful that he was able to be home, this Christmas will be even more special because he is healthy again.
Saying no is going to allow me to enjoy spending time with my oldest son this holiday season. He’s a senior in high school and this will be his last Christmas at home. After graduation, he will be going on to college. I don’t want to miss that…for anything. I will get to see the faces of my youngest sons light up when they see their favorite Christmas movies and enjoy their snacks. Having a heart of gratitude and choosing joy helps me to remember what the true meaning of the season is all about. All those little things I find joy in add up. “The LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3). Choosing joy helps me to to count my blessings and focus on the eternal rather than the busyness around me. What a lesson it will instill in my children as well as we all choose joy, enjoy the time we have together and just have fun. It reinforces our family values of God first and family second while allowing God to do something amazing in each of our hearts one day at a time.
This counselor turned homeschool mama loves to provide daily adventures for my boys while encouraging them to learn about the big, busy world around them.
With a cold latte in hand and my latest read under my arm, I'm usually seen looking for monster trucks and chasing my little people. In my spare time, you will catch me spending time with family and friends, at live music festivals and on the hunt for a new favorite dessert.