While standing in my kitchen on Christmas night last year, I felt deep in my gut the result of too much holiday. The sheer amount of preparation, thoughtfulness, anticipation, surprise, memory-making, love, gratitude, and giving. For it all to be over, just like that?! My feet were sore, my tummy full, and both my cheeks hurt from laughing. My love bucket runneth over, yet I still felt the bitterness of the ending of the holiday season. It went too fast, and now it was over.
Sure, I experienced these feelings before – the night of my wedding, the day my son was born, and each past holiday season. I’m tired of that feeling, though, and this year I want to make a change. To be better. And like most things in life, it takes time, observation, and preparation to do better. It takes time to realize the problem, observation of mistakes you’ve made, and preparation to change in order to get it right.
After the tragedy that our county has endured, I think we can do better. This holiday season, I’m challenging myself to become more aware, more in the moment, more reflective, and more peaceful. Here are three specific goals I’ve set for myself to be better this season, and I invite you to join me.
1. Volunteer outside your circle
Volunteer in the community – give your time by helping fire victims in our community and feeding the homeless. Filling our souls with gratitude will help us find, aspire to, and remember the good in life. Recently I started volunteering at our local St. Vincent de Paul to serve the homeless community. I enjoy this tremendously and it’s really rewarding. Another great way to help the community is to donate non-perishable items to local food banks. Almost all grocery stores have a drop-off site, and it’s an easy thing to add to your cart while there.
2. Holiday Season Traditions
Become a master at your traditions and long for them all year. Then when they arrive, it’s like opening a puppy on Christmas. Your family is ready and they know exactly what to expect. Making traditions is not only a great way to enjoy the holiday season, but also to have closure for the season, as well. Once the holidays are over, there’s already a sense of excitement for their return.
As a kid, I looked forward to our holiday traditions all year long. This year, we started the tradition of an advent calendar and my son is already so excited! My great grandma made an adorable hanging advent calendar, which has been passed down for many generations. Now, finally, it’s my turn to enjoy it all season long. Every day, the advent fairy will drop a small present into the coordinating day’s slot. It might bring me just as much joy as it brings my son!
3. A Holiday Bucket List
I follow so many bloggers on Instagram that give Mrs. Claus a run for her money. They are commitment to the 100th degree, and they don’t mess around. One thing that I have adapted is a holiday bucket list. Visually seeing all that you have done gives you proof that this holiday season was everything you wanted.
We are checking things off of our list already, and each check mark brings a sliver of excitement to my heart. We’ve checked off visiting a tree lot, wearing Christmas pajamas, having a dance party to Christmas songs, and (my personal favorite) hanging a wreath on the front door! Side note – if you have things on your bucket list, put them in the comments so I can add them to my list.
Being Better this Holiday Season
If you go into my son’s room, you will find dozens of Berenstain Bear books. I feel like The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Holiday should be a title, but it’s not. I hope to avoid those feelings of too much holiday by being better this holiday season and incorporating the things above into this season. That way, when the holiday season is over, I can look back and see everything we checked off our list, the traditions we enjoyed, and the good we spread by volunteering. I hope these do the trick and that we all can feel some relief and joy after a wonderful holiday season!
Let us know your specific ways of volunteering, your favorite traditions, and what you’re marking off that bucket list in the comments below. Happy Holidays!