Claiming Meaning, Breath, & Light This Christmas Season


Claiming Meaning, Breath, & Light This Christmas Season

Sometimes, it very much feels like the holidays happen to us. We get caught up in the hustle of activity, the list of things to buy and wrap, and the holiday commitments. In a sense, it can create a kind of survival dynamic of just getting through it all. While some of this activity is so fun and meaningful, we also may benefit from a little time to pause, to slow down and breathe, and to remember what it’s all really about. 

This can be really hard to do in light of the schedule, the gift giving, all of the things on our “to do” lists, and wanting to make fun memories with our kids. It can feel like we do not have time to stop and like it’s all we can do to keep our heads above water. Yet, with a little bit of intention, we can find some breath and some light in the midst of it all, which may not only be life-giving for parents, but for the whole family as well. 

Name What Matters Most To You

Just like with anything — our homes, our work, etc. — setting priorities helps us know what to say yes to and what we can let go of for now. Stop and consider which commitments and traditions are most meaningful to you and your children, and prioritize those. This may mean setting a boundary and saying no to something else.

Let Go Of Perfection

  • A thoughtful gift that someone might enjoy is better than the perfect gift that you can not find that is keeping you from being able to relax and enjoy this time.
  • The perfect outfits for you or your children may be hard to find or afford, but there are lots of great holiday outfits.
  • The perfect relationship dynamics may not be happening right now, but there is goodness in the relationships you have.
  • The perfectly behaved kids may feel forever out of reach, but they are real people after all, and accepting what is before you may help you enjoy them more.
  • The perfectly clean home is not realistic when you live in it, so embrace good enough and consider what makes your home feel more peaceful and more festive to you.

Build In Some Margin

Both financially and with your time, consider the significance of some breathing room. Whether it’s setting a budget for Christmas gifts or claiming a pajama day to simply watch movies and wrap presents or rest, consider the significance of some margin. Notice how you feel when you are less rushed and less stressed, and what kind of impact this might have on the whole family.

Claim Some Time To Reflect And Be Still

One way to make the season leading up to Christmas more meaningful is to consider taking part in some Advent readings and traditions that lay the groundwork and foundation for the holiday. This can remind and ground you and your family in a greater hope and remind all of us of the deeper meaning and the message of light in darkness that Christmas represents. 

When Things Feel Dark

If you find yourself in a harder season, where the holidays trigger grief and pain, and on the inside you are feeling anything but festive, consider not going it alone and reach out for some support. Holidays can be both magical and incredibly difficult all at the same time. Having a place just for you to process what you are experiencing could be a profound gift to make the darkness feel a little brighter and not quite as heavy.

For more support on navigating the holiday season and specifically holiday stress, read here. For more support in regards to claiming margin, read here.