I remember when my husband and I first got married, we shopped very carefully and specifically for the decorations we put in our home. I even remember feeling a little sad that our tree was decorated with store-bought ornaments instead of the handmade treasures that hung on my family tree. I looked forward to future Christmases when our future children would hang their treasured gifts made at school and church.
Flash forward MANY years. . .These days, it seems there’s barely time to put the tree up, let alone sit in front of a roaring fire making family memories like those I see in the faded Polaroids of my childhood. It seems I run from one event to the next—a choir concert here, a band concert there. The Advent activities of our church calendar are penciled in between shopping, preparing, and juggling an assortment of activities that flash by in a frenzy, only to collapse in a heap on New Year’s Day wondering where the time went and promising myself, “Next Year. . .”
Have you found yourself feeling the same?
Give yourself the gift of being present for the things that matter most. Don’t just survive the holidays this year! Enjoy them!
Be determined to slow down and not over-extend yourself. Give the gift of time and joyful experiences together. Choose to do the things that truly matter and release the rest.
Yes, there will be concerts and chaos. But this year, release the “should’s” and “have to’s”. In order to be fully present, we must let go of busyness and only do the things that truly matter.
What activities or routines can you release this year so that you too have the gift of presence?
- Ask your family what their most favorite traditions are, and only include those. You might be surprised at the things they identify as unimportant that you believed were critical to their happiness!
- Include your family in the activities you have selected to do—shopping, wrapping, decorating, etc. Don’t do it by yourself in an effort to get more done, quicker.
- Let things go! Create a schedule that is balanced and not overcrowded! Stop living in the margins of your life, and embrace the true blessings of this amazing season and the true gifts of Christ’s abundance through His birth.
Repeat after me: “This year, I promise to be fully present in the allotted 24 hours a day I’ve been given. Being fully present is the gift I’m giving to myself and to those I love. I will spend time with God in gratitude and Thanksgiving for all that He has brought into my life, and, through the overflow of His Holy Spirit, I will choose the true gifts of Love and Time for my family and friends as we make memories together. I choose to give myself permission to do only the things that matter the most—not what we ‘have always done’ or ‘what we should do.’”
My prayer is that you truly experience the joy of the holidays and the true meaning of Christmas in ways you never believed possible.
Shannon Spencer is the Founder and CEO of The Savvy Woman Business Network, Executive Coach, Joy Strategist and Marketplace Minister. A life-long entrepreneur who is passionate about shining the light of Christ through all she does, she has a strong background in retail management and specialized in Mental Health and Wellness. Shannon lives in the wine country of Kennewick, Washington with her amazing husband and talented teenagers, where she teaches and empowers Christian Mom-preneurs to fulfill their missions at home and through their work with joy. Kingdom living is her passion. Find out more about Shannon—and her newest program, Cultivating a CEO Mindset for Savvy Mom-preneurs—at www.TheSavvyWoman.org.