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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Creating a Christmas Even a Mom Can Enjoy

Creating a Christmas Even a Mom Can Enjoy

Written by Jessica.

Psst…Christmas Eve is only five weeks away. Deep breaths, everyone. No need to panic.

The weeks leading to Christmas can bring a mixed bag of stress, feelings of excitement, and anticipation for the special memory making and festive celebrating. This is especially true for moms who tend to be the magic-makers during the holiday season. Let's face it, we wear a lot of extra hats at this time of year. Typically, we're the bakers, the wrappers, the shoppers, the crafters, the decorators, the party planners...and the list goes on. We can often get so busy doing that we have no time to actually just be--to enjoy the Christmas season ourselves. The month of December and the days leading up to Christ's birthday can sometimes feel more like a burden instead of a blessing.

If you find yourself dreading December, here are a few quick ideas to create a Christmas that even a mom can enjoy:


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Creating a Christmas Even a Mom Can Enjoy #christmas #homeschool #christmasschooling

Start Early

Christmas shouldn’t come as a surprise. It happens at the same time each and every year, after all. Knowing this, I try to complete as many Christmas to-dos as early in the season as I can. For example, while I never have all of the wrapping done by Thanksgiving, I do have the majority of our Christmas shopping done by then. We put our Christmas decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving and get our tree within the week after that. This sooner-rather-than-later approach to getting ready for Christmas makes such a big difference for me.

Plan a Christmas “buffer”


Building on the idea of the earlier the better, I then plan out everything else that I need to do and set target weeks for when I hope to get those other tasks checked off my list. Writing cards, wrapping presents, taking Christmas photos, participating in various family traditions, and baking treats are some of the bigger things, but smaller things like giving haircuts (I do these at home), deciding upon Christmas outfits, and cleaning the house also get included. My husband is a big help, and we keep each other accountable for staying on track as best we can.

Inevitably, though, things often take me longer to do than I anticipate and unexpected responsibilities pop up. Despite my best intentions, every year I still seem to find myself pulling all-nighters during those last days before Christmas. (If I can get so many of the big to-dos done early, why do I fall behind on many of the other tasks? It's a mystery.) So, this year I’m going to put a generous “buffer” around Christmas: I’m going to count back X number of days before the big day and aim to be ready with every single thing by that date. (If you have a baby or toddler, consider giving yourself a bigger buffer).

There will, obviously, be food that will need to be baked and last minute cleaning that might need to be done on Christmas Eve, but hopefully, a well-thought-out buffer will give me some grace days to spend as needed. In this way, I hope to feel my best and get enough sleep in the days preceding Christmas.

Creating a Christmas Even a Mom Can Enjoy #christmas #homeschool #christmasschooling

Know Your Role 


My husband and I were married ten years before we had kids, and a couple of those years we doubted if we’d ever get to have children. I know what it’s like to have little to do at Christmas, ample time to do as I please, and lots of quiet evenings sitting in front of the Christmas tree – and you know what? I wouldn’t trade one second of that time for these noisy, messy, busy, nonstop, not-enough-time-in-the-day days, at Christmas or otherwise.

The perspective those years gave my husband and me is this: motherhood, and parenthood, is a season to be embraced with gratefulness and joy. Yes, it is exhausting, demanding, frustrating, draining, and stretching, even on the average days. And yes, Christmas definitely intensifies those feelings because of the extra demands it places on us. But, it's worth it. At this time of year, I know that it’s good to try to stay on top of self-care and to get enough sleep, but I also know that this season is going to ask for some extra effort from me – and I choose to embrace that.

It’s not important that I be the most amazing decorator, baker, or Christmas crafter. It is important that I focus on the atmosphere in our home, loving my kids, and making Christmas extra special and memorable for them. If I’m too busy, too stressed, and too overtired, I’m not able to do those things well.

Likewise, I’ve learned that it’s really necessary at Christmas-time that my kids get enough rest and eat well too. Every parent knows that nothing can inject chaos and mayhem to a day like a hyper, overtired, or cranky child. After one particular Christmas Day with three fussy kids six and under, I learned that it’s my job, not theirs, to help them feel their best by ensuring they get enough rest and that they eat balanced meals despite the Christmas festivities.

My kids need me to be present and engaged with them regardless of any additional Christmas jobs that I have to do. I’ve noticed that when I’m busy with something for a long stretch, there is more hyperactivity, more squabbling, and more acting out. Allowing screen time is tempting. It feels like an easy activity, but it never makes things better in the long run. They need me to talk to them, have a cuddle, watch what they’re playing, join in a game, read a story, or include them in what I’m doing, just like I do when it’s not Christmas.

Creating a Christmas Even a Mom Can Enjoy #christmas #homeschool #christmasschooling

Prepare Him Room


The main way our family keeps peace in our Christmas season is by engaging in lots of traditions that last throughout the whole Advent season and that serve as daily pauses and reminders for the reason we're celebrating in the first place: Christ. We all need those times to still our hearts and minds and to pull us out of the hustle and bustle for a while.

After we’re ready for the day, we count down to Christmas by unwrapping and reading a Christmas-themed book each day of December. When the children were babies and toddlers, I began buying a few Christmas books each year. In those days, we’d just read and re-read the books we had, and for years I didn’t worry about having a different book for each day. Over time, our collection grew, until a few years ago we finally had enough books to last throughout the month of December and I began wrapping the books. Cuddling up on the couch in the mornings with the tree lit and reading to the kids is one of their, and my, favorite ways to count down to Christmas. This year, I’m adding in an Advent devotional book to read and discuss with the kids, and they’ll see mom and dad reading the following on our own:


Both my husband and I grew up doing Advent calendars, and we've continued that tradition with our children each year. In addition, our Nativity set is always in a place of prominence, and the kids are always welcome to touch, move around, and interact with the pieces as much as they’d like to. When they were very small, our plastic, kid-friendly set was everyone’s favorite and they each took turns getting to have the baby Jesus for the day.

Now that they're older, we light a candle on our Advent wreath and the kids take turns hanging an ornament on the Jesse Tree while my husband or I read the corresponding verses aloud. We chose to purchase a set of handmade Jesse Tree ornaments years ago, but they can also be made at home. All these traditions are just little things but when sprinkled through each day, they help us to focus on what we’re celebrating at Christmas.

…So here’s to the next five weeks, fellow mamas! They will be busy, and full, and tiring, but may we use our time wisely, nurture ourselves and our children, intentionally create peaceful times, and most of all savor the wonders of the Savior. May we create a Christmas that even we can enjoy!



2 comments:

  1. I want to come to Christmas at your house, Jessica!! Thanks for the reminder to soak in all of the simple pleasures Christ's birthday brings! I love your traditions :D

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    1. Thanks for your sweet note, Krista! Wishing you and yours a wonderful Advent and Christmas! :)

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