“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!”

~ Amanda Bradley

This really is an exciting time of year! Parties and celebrations, special time with family and friends, writing and receiving cards, giving and receiving presents, eating fresh baked goods, decorating cookies, playing games, watching old classics like The Christmas Story and Frosty the Snowman, the pure JOY in children and the special magic of it all!

One thing I love about being a mother is seeing the total excitement in my children. When they are really excited about something – it is a full-body experience – from head to toe! My boys cannot keep themselves from jumping, bouncing, running and beaming when they are experiencing true joy.

That’s how I feel about the gifts of this season. It’s about getting in touch with those qualities (that we sometimes forget are always within us) – awe, wonder, curiosity, the belief in things unseen, love of surprises and magic.

This season is about connecting deeply to the wisdom of your heart.

It’s time to make a list of the holiday fun you want to experience this season.  Pull out your calendar and be realistic about your plans. As you make your list of fun, think about the wonder and excitement you felt as a kid. Carry that excitement with you as you make your list. Keep your list short and simple. Make space for the special gifts of the season.

Keeping Your Holiday Plans Simple

Make a list of the top 5 things you love most about the holidays. Don’t overthink it, rather write from your heart.  Ask your children to do the same. Often, your lists will be similar and you may be surprised at the simplicity of their favorite activities. Post them on the refrigerator, and for the month of December, do only what is on your list.  Let everything else go.

My list usually centers around food, my immediate family and old movies. This is what makes Christmas special to me and that is where my heart is at Christmas. I won’t be at the mall or sending out elaborate Christmas letters or decorating my entire house from top to bottom, even though those things may be favorite holiday activities for someone else. Instead, I’ll be hanging out with my kids and Bing Crosby, a few holiday parties and some game nights by the fire.

When all the presents have been unwrapped and the dinner plates washed and put away, I won’t feel that something has escaped my grasp once again. I won’t feel the dreaded let down of the post-holiday season. I will give myself the space I need to enjoy the moment, here and now, by doing less and savoring the simplicity of it all.

This holiday, give yourself permission, to let go – of anxiety, stress, perfection and too much stuff – and instead give yourself the space to enjoy the magic of doing less and being more available.

Your Personal Reflection:

Are you feeling some anxiety about how much you have to do? Write out all the things on your list that you feel you should do. Then write another list of all the things you really want to do. Remember your answer to the question, When do you feel most at peace?  Eliminate the shoulds from your list to make space for more fun, joy and peace!