It’s December. Carols are playing in all the shops. You’ve dragged your artificial tree out of storage and you are staring down the barrel of the 200 things on your To-Do list. Welcome to the holidays!!
If you are lucky enough to live in Australia (or the Southern Hemisphere) you get to enjoy the triple whammy of having summer holidays, Christmas, and Back-To-School all within the course of six short weeks. It’s enough to make any mother’s head spin!
Perhaps, after last years chaos you realised that you need a better way to “do” Christmas. Whether it was the endless shopping and wrapping (and the toys that were instantly discarded and forgotten), an insane amount of travelling or constant trips to the shop – my tips for creating your flavour of intentional Christmas will make for a much happier silly season!
Intentional Christmas Planning Tips
1. Write out everything you normally do during this time. Look at this list – do you want to do these things? When did they creep onto your list? Grab the totally free 30 Days of Presence Christmas Guide for more tips & tricks with this!
2. Pare down your list. What suits this season of your life? What can you delegate? Do these activities and things you need to buy align with the values of your family?
3. Consider which season of life you are in. Do you have a baby or small children? Is your budget tight this year? What about work commitments? Design your Christmas to suit this particular season of life for you & your family. I learnt quickly that trying to see multiple families in one day, or doing lots of travelling with small children on Christmas & Boxing Day does not work for us. So we spread out our Christmas celebrations and everyone is a lot happier!
4. Buy your presents more intentionally. The aim isn’t to be perfect, but if you change one thing each year, your gift buying will be more fulfilling, environmentally friendly and less stressful.
Gift Giving Ideas
-buying from local or handmade shops – this will also simultaneously reduces the amount of plastic presents you are giving. More natural fibres & materials go into handmade presents as a general rule of thumb.
-wrapping in reusable or recyclable packaging
-giving experiences & time instead of physical presents
-only spend what fits with your budget – don’t put your Christmas on credit!
-try to avoid “throw away” novelty presents, think quality over quantity- 6 Ways To Not Contribute To Other’s Clutter This Christmas
-give handmade or homegrown presents. Fruit trees, knitted blankets, jars of homemade fudge are just a few of the ways you could give handmade or homegrown.
5. Have the main focus of Christmas be on time spent together. Just relaxing, playing, exploring, eating & catching up with friends & family that mean the most to you. Absolutely incorporate your favourite traditions, but not at the expense of the joy of the season – if your traditions can enhance the time you spend together – even better!
6.Stay present by reducing your use of technology & social media. Put away your phones & tables – even if just for an hour a day – and enjoy each other’s company.
7. Remember it is only one day of the year – a drop in the big scheme of things. The most memorable Christmases aren’t the “perfect” ones, but often the fatally flawed ones. Maybe it pours rain, or the kids get the hose out and have a water fight – the memories are made in the imperfection. As hard as it can be for the type As and overachievers, letting go a little can have a big impact on your enjoyment of the season.
Top Tip – if you are visiting relatives where everything is overly formal, breakable or untouchable, make sure you have plenty of downtime at your own home for yourself & your children to relax & be themselves.
8. Plan in activities that YOU enjoy. Not everything has to be about the children & obligations at Christmas. Do you love watching that cheesy Christmas movie? Schedule it in! Make sure YOU enjoy the silly season too. Christmas isn’t as fun with a frazzled, cranky Mum.
These are my top tips for creating your very own intentional Christmas! How do you plan your Christmas? I would love to hear in the comments below! If you would like help to map out your intentional Christmas, Angela Mulvay and I have created a free workbook called the 30 Days of Presence- find it here.