Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day…just the simple act of typing out those words and thinking about the memories attached to them brings me so much joy. This time of year is the best. So much family, togetherness, traditions and yummy food!
But despite the magic that this time of year brings, stress often accompanies all of those warm fuzzies. Because let’s face it – picking out gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating, and making festive dishes for dinner parties all take time.
And this year, I’m not interested in spending Thanksgiving Day making a last-minute trip to the grocery store and slaving away on foods that could have been decided on and prepped in advance, or feeling tired on Christmas morning because I was up too late the night before organizing and wrapping gifts.
I want to feel my absolute best on these days (and throughout the season!). Because when I’m at the top of my game, I know I’m a much more loving wife and mom who is more patient and capable of enjoying all that each moment has to offer.
So let’s talk about what it means to truly savor and enjoy the holidays, and how to do it in a graceful way that doesn’t feel too intimidating or unattainable.
Here are the practices I’m leaning on this year!
HOLIDAY UPGRADE #1: PRE-DECIDING
I recently became obsessed with this concept after Jill Tanis talked about it in a workshop she led for the leadership team at Primally Pure.
Jill talked to us about how many decisions we make every day (around 35,000!) and how much brainpower can be saved by pre-deciding certain things.
Here’s one example: I avoid gluten. When I’m offered something that contains gluten, I don’t weigh out the decision of whether or not to eat it because I’ve already decided that I don’t eat gluten. No decision necessary.
By making as many decisions as possible in advance, we can better preserve our precious energy for the present moment and whatever unexpected twists and turns life brings our way.
Some of the things I’ve pre-decided this holiday season include…
- Which clean dessert + cocktail recipes I’ll be making at my parents’ house on Thanksgiving Day
- Listing out the gifts I’ll be getting for my husband, kids, parents, in-law’s, nieces, nephews, etc. (complete with links!) so that I can grab everything in one quick sweep on Black Friday when the sales hit with minimal time spent away from family
- Deciding ahead of time on a few fun new Christmas activities to try as a family
- Sticking to my limit of 2 alcoholic beverages/week
- Going to bed by 10 pm (at the latest) each night
- Deciding ahead of time which holiday treat splurges are and aren’t worth it, and fully enjoying the ones I do choose to indulge in
This concept has been a game-changer in my day to day life, and I’m willing to bet that the benefits of pre-deciding will be even more profound throughout the holidays.
HOLIDAY UPGRADE #2: HAVING A MORNING ROUTINE
Morning routines are helpful year round, but especially during the times when it feels like there isn’t time – that’s when a morning routine is needed the most!
I love waking up before my husband and kids this time of year and enjoying an hour or so of solitude. I like to set the stage by cozying up with a blanket and spraying a few pumps of Autumn Room Spray, before diving into some combination of the following things: devotion/prayer, Wim Hof breathing, journaling/visualizing with my High Performance Planner, and sometimes even a hop in the sauna if I’m lucky!
Taking time for the things that fill us up (whatever that may look like!) keeps us feeling grounded and centered even in the midst of accidentally burning the turkey, whiney kids, dealing with that difficult family member, or whatever less than ideal situations may arise.
HOLIDAY UPGRADE #3: SIMPLE TRADITIONS THAT COST (ALMOST) NOTHING
The 2020 holiday season probably looks a bit different than past years for all of us in a variety of ways. For our family, it’s going to look like a bit less travel and time spent out and about.
So in an effort to make this season just as special (even without things like overpriced Santa photos at the mall – which is sure to be an even creepier experience for little kids with Santa wearing a mask), we’re trading in some of those traditions in for super simple + sweet moments.
Here are a few of the activities on our holiday bucket list this year!
- Christmas camping (sleeping downstairs next to the tree for a night!)
- Walking around our neighborhood + looking at the lights with hot apple cider in hand
- Decorating the tree together + reflecting on our travels (we always buy an ornament from every place we travel to!)
- Baking cookies for the homeless
- Plenty of Christmas movies with non-GMO popcorn and paleo hot cocoa
- Capturing a family photo (complete with PJs and messy hair!) on Christmas morning
What are you guys doing to make the most of the holidays this year? I’d love to hear about it – please share in the comments!