I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Christmas isn’t about the big presents and the fancy decorations. It also isn’t about cramming in as many holiday activities and festivities during the month of December as you possibly can. It isn’t about having the biggest Christmas party, or the biggest tree. Instead, Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, exchanging meaningful gifts, and enjoying each other’s company. And let’s not forget about the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that all too often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of our commercialized holidays.
There are three things I have learned to do to remind myself that Christmas is so much more than big presents and fancy decorations.
Slow Down This Year
It’s hard to enjoy this very special season when your calendar is so full that you’re simply rushing from one event to the next. This year, try slowing the pace. Instead of aiming to fit it all in, do it all, and go all out on everything from decorating the house and yard to hosting various Christmas parties, slow down. Take a breath and look around you. Enjoy this time with your family. Snuggle up on the couch and watch a favorite Holiday movie. Make some macaroni ornaments with the kids. Take a nap or sip a cup of peppermint tea. Slow down and soak it all in. Create memories! If you take the time to make meaningful memories, you have something that will last a lifetime.
Scale Back On Everything
The biggest problem with doing too much and having too much is that it all loses meaning. This is particularly true around Christmas. “Go big or go home” doesn’t really work well. A couple of well-chosen presents are much more memorable than a big pile of 25 to 30 things that looks impressive at first glance. Think on Christmases past when some gifts were set aside or totally forgotten long before they were even acknowledged because there was so much. Often, the joy can be lost in the clutter of it all.
Instead of going all out with the decorations, do a few things well and chose items that have meaning to you and your family. Instead of buying more and more gifts, set a limit and spend both time and money on quality instead of quantity. Instead of hosting huge Christmas dinners, fix something nice for the people that mean the most to you. Spend time reading the Christmas story with your family.
Focus On The Truly Important Stuff
In other words, force yourself to focus on the truly important stuff. What do you want to remember come February? Who are the people you want to spend this special season with? What holiday events and gatherings are most important to you and your family? Focus on the truly important stuff, and enjoy this holiday season.
Christmas is so much more than big presents and fancy decorations. You won’t remember that extra string of lights you hung, but you will treasure the memory of the joyful time spent with the ones you love.