Staying Present This Holiday Season

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The holiday season is upon us and it’s often a stressful time for many of us. My husband and I have been in Colorado for the past five years. It’s become much harder to make it home for the holidays between our families. We have to debate where to spend Thanksgiving and where to spend Christmas. We have to decide if we should go to both sides of the family for each holiday or skip the road trips altogether. In the end, it just becomes very chaotic and stressful and someone is always upset. 

So for the past couple of years, we’ve made a choice to spend the holidays in our own home. We do make an effort to see both sides of our families between November and January, but not specific to a holiday. Because of these choices, the time we do get to spend with our families is special, but the time we get to spend with each other is even better. Being present during this time is truly the most important thing.

Put It Away

This should be an easy choice but for many, it isn’t. We want to capture every moment of the occasion, and there’s the lingering feeling of posting to social media and sharing it with the world. But in the end, we need to stop. Grab a couple of pictures and then tuck that phone away for the day. Find someone in your family to keep you accountable if it’s a problem! 

Stop Doing All the Things

The holiday season is fun because there are parades, festivals, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms to see. Oh, and don’t forget searching for Santa! But don’t feel like you need to do them all to fulfill your holiday season. Pick one or two big events to go to and forget about the rest.

Organize the Calendar

Take a few extra minutes to map out your calendar for the holiday season. Write down travel dates, school programs, holiday events, etc., and make sure everyone in your household can clearly see this calendar. This is such a busy time of year that it’s easy to get lost in all of the events. 

Quality Time

If your family is anything like mine, we love to see each other for the holidays, but a few hours in, we start bickering over the littlest things. Instead of looking for reasons to argue, ways to “check out” of the conversation or trying to escape, focus on quality time with realistic expectations. Be interested in the conversation, tolerate differences and be intentional with your time with your loved ones. 

Don’t Forget Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in doing all the things and forget to take some time to focus on yourself during the holidays. After a weekend of wrapping presents, planning meals, going to festivals, and doing regular life chores, I am wiped. So grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit by the fireplace, watch the snow fall and read a good book. If you’re too busy to take care of yourself, then you’re too busy! 

The holiday season is such a magical time! So be present this year, and soak in the time you have with your loved ones!

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