I don’t know about you but this time of year is my absolute favorite. I look forward to it for months. I listlessly dream about it as I sweat through July. By the time the first cool, crisp day of September arrives I am doing giddy happy dances and hoarding pins on my Fall and Christmas Pinterest boards. My only complaint is that this whole season – the pumpkins and brilliant leaves, the crisp air, the festivities and anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas – goes by so quickly. Does anyone else feel this way? Maybe it’s because I look forward to it so much. Maybe it’s because there is so much crammed into a few months that the days speed by. Whatever it is, by the time New Years arrives I often feel disappointed. Where did the season go? Why did I spend so much time on the unimportant things that I forgot to really soak in and enjoy the most wonderful time of year? The thought of this is weighing especially heavy on me this year. Life is already busy enough with the new baby and two energetic kids. The last thing I want to do is get so caught up in the craziness of daily life that the holidays pass by virtually unnoticed.
Enter the Holiday Manifesto. My loose and simplistic plan for a more intentional and beautiful holiday season. It’s easy to forget what’s really important to us as the onslaught of commercials and shopping and parties and general craziness await around the corner. The other night I took some time to think about what really makes the holidays so special to me. How I want the next few weeks to feel. Christmas, stripped down to the bare minimum, to what is absolutely essential. My hope is that this little declaration will help keep me focused on what’s really important to our family and make this time a season of thankfulness and celebration.
Here’s a peak at what I came up with:
I want to live slowly and simply this season. To appreciate the little things because it’s the little things that make this season so beautiful to me. Every day, I want to push aside the laundry piles and constant messes to intentionally pause and soak in the beauty of the season.
How this season should feel: calm, inviting, warm, full of anticipation, joyful, reflective, peaceful, intentional, slow, celebratory.
Some ways we are celebrating the season:
- Getting outside daily to enjoy the last few days of fall
- Decorating the table for Thanksgiving and celebrating with my parents
- Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade
- Decking our “halls” – lighting candles, picking out and decorating our tree, all that fun stuff!
- Reading Christmas books to the kids “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT…”
- Listening to Christmas music, sometimes with just the tree lights on
- Taking a night walk or drive around our neighborhood to look for Christmas lights
- Watching our favorite Christmas flicks (the jaunty Linus & Lucy theme is already in my head!)
- Following an advent calendar and talking about Christ’s birth with our kids
- For me, I want to take time to personally reflect and honor the reason why this season is so important to me: the birth of Christ
Want to create a manifesto yourself? It’s a pretty easy task – whether you write it down or just take some time to think about what is important to you this season. Here are some questions to get you started:
What is most important to you about this season?
What makes Christmas really feel like Christmas?
What feelings do you associate with this season? (The good ones! The ones you want to remember!)
What are some activities that only cause stress or frustration? Are they essential or can they be eliminated completely?
Happy manifesto making!