Merry Christmas week!
I know this year may look very different than in years past, but the busyness of this season still seems to envelope us all, particularly us mamas.
The mental load of mothering is often at an all-time peak this season. I recently read that overwhelm this holiday season can be caused by isolation and loneliness, an unpredictable schedule, a lack of “me” time, financial stress, insecurities or comparison, wanting to make the holidays special for your family, and a lack of support or partner stress.
It does not have to be this way for the believing mama. This season, we celebrate the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Jesus. It is that peace that we can have access to everyday of the year, including busy seasons like Christmas.
Christmas is in just a few short days, and I feel more peace than I have in years past. Busyness has not overtaken me this year. This has been a work of Jesus in my heart.
I love to send Christmas cards, shop for gifts for each member of my extended family, find the perfect presents for my husband and children, decorate, grab items for our annual Advent calendar countdown, and plan fun winter activities . Yet I found that the busyness of getting into the Christmas spirit caused me to miss the Holy Spirit. So many of us mamas are trying so hard this season to get amazing gifts, make incredible meals, and to create unforgettable fun.
We tend to turn to bucket lists as ways to make some wonderful memories this season, but I want to avoid the notion that joy can somehow be found in shopping, cooking, and decorating. While many of are rushing to finish our holiday to-do lists, I invite you to lean into this season in a different way. Step out of the busyness, and into what truly matters — beholding our King, our Messiah. Whether He was actually born on December 25th or not, we have an opportunity to profess our faith in and celebrate the One who truly matters more than anything.
I’ve created a new bucket list, one for the mama who wants to raise her children in the Lord and help steer her family’s heart towards the One that matters this season, and every season. These are just some ways that we can dial down on the over-the-top festivities for more simple and impactful activities:
- Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa over family Bible study. This would be a great time to look at the fulfilled Old Testament verses prophesying the coming of Jesus, such as the Messianic Psalms.
- Bake Christmas cookies and bring them to first responders such as your fire department or police station as a way to bless them.
- Build a gingerbread house, and use it as an opportunity to teach your kids about building their lives on the Word of God: ask the Lord which Scriptures you can use as a hands-on Bible study. (Matthew 7:24-27 are verses that comes to mind).
- Go on a Christmas lights walk, enjoying the beauty of the display and the time spent together as a family.
- Sing Christmas carols, or go watch carolers. Many Christmas carols are actually hymns, and evoke thoughts of deep reverence and worship. My favorite carol is “O Holy Night.”
- Shop for a nativity scene to put up at home. Once it is set up, talk with your kids about each person depicted in the crèche.
- Create an advent calendar using Scriptures for each day leading up to Christmas.
- Make snow angels, and discuss how God has commanded His angels concerning us (Psalm 91: 11) and how angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
- Watch Christmas movies, particularly those focused on Jesus’s birth.
- Adopt a child/children/family for which to buy Christmas gifts. Have your children take the lead in picking out the best gifts for someone else, and wrapping them beautifully. This gives them the opportunity to practice selflessness, and to give the best of themselves for someone else’s benefit.
I hope you do not feel pressure to complete everything on this list! In fact, you probably will not have time to do so, as Christmas is just a few days away, and that’s OK! These are just suggestions to savor Jesus and invite your family into worship in everyday activities.