It’s that time of year….the “busy” time of year filled with so many to-do lists and tasks. Sometimes I think we miss what this time of year is really all about.
I hate hearing this phrase over and over again “It’s a busy time of year” or “There’s just so much to do” or “I have this person to shop for and then I have to send the cards, bake the cookies, and……”
Whenever you see anyone during this time of year you are likely to reply with one of the above phrases when asked how you are doing. I have said my fair share of these remarks time and time again and frankly I am sick of hearing and saying it.
I am tired of penciling people into to my schedule. It’s pretty sad I have to find a time that works to spend time with my sister or spouse. There’s the Christmas party for our department at work, and then the Christmas party for the entire work community, then the Christmas party for my running group, and then the Christmas party for church, and the Christmas party for…..I think you get the point. So when is there time for a simple coffee with a friend, movie with the hubs, phone call with the parents or girlfriends or sister date?!
I shouldn’t have to write my family or friends into my planner, but I have to admit I have. From Christmas parties, to writing Christmas Cards, sending gifts and making treats, to hanging with friends and family, phoning friends and family, it all goes into my planner. That’s a little too much.
So I have decided to find time for what really matters this Christmas season. Yes I can still attend those parties, but when “busyness” and “schedules” take over what really counts, there’s a problem. sometimes you have to learn to say no and sometimes you have to learn to stop and really evaluate what really matters.
I am vowing to not waste another minute making myself “busy” with tasks and to-do lists. I am going to do the things I love without feeling like it’s a must. I will bake the cookies and breads for those I love, not because I feel it’s what you have to do on Christmas, but because I love to give and bring joy to others. This takes away the stress of doing it. Sometimes I add too much to my plate just so I can act and sound busy…..it’s the honest truth.
I am vowing to make more time for my spouse, family and friends. I think I can stop long enough to phone a friend and catch up or even long enough to sit down with my hubby and just hang out!! It seems that every year Christmas comes faster and faster, and more and more stressful.
I have come to the realization that we are to blame for this. We fill our schedules and allow for busyness and stress. From here on out I am going to truly enjoy the Christmas Season.
Here’s some ideas for accomplishing those Christmas lists (with Joy), while still making time for others:
- In between shopping at various stores make a time to meet for coffee with a friend or better yet ask your friend or sister to tag along – I don’t think I am the only one that needs a breather from the hustle at the stores. Shopping can be stressful, but when you know you get to meet a friend to break it up, it makes it more doable. A nice coffee break to unwind with friends or family is always fun. Having them with you to shop is also great. You get some help and some company.
- While baking those treats for friends, co-workers or neighbors involve the family – Kids find it fun to help bake, especially when it comes time to decorate the cookies. Your spending time with family and accomplishing a “task.” Involving the kids helps to instill in them the importance of giving, because this is what the Christmas season is all about. Making it a family task makes it more fun.
- While writing out Christmas Cards or wrapping presents have a holiday movie playing (better yet just take time to watch the movie without doing a thing) – Christmas movies are always fun. I never make time to watch them because I find so may other things to fill my time. Just recently my sister came over to watch Christmas movies, and you want to know what I was doing…..cleaning, doing laundry, checking emails, etc. I was rarely in the same room…..it’s both sad and rude. It’s the product of “busyness”. I did stop long enough to sit in front of the TV to wrap presents for my sister. Having a movie play while I write christmas cards passes the time more quickly. I feel like I am still accomplishing something, while enjoying Christmas with the family (If you can just sit and watch without feeling guilty GO FOR IT, I have to take baby steps with this one).
- Call a friend or the aunt you’ve been meaning to call for the past month while folding the laundry, doing the dishes or while online shopping. – Most women are able to multi task, so this is doable. Whenever you find yourself doing a task where you can easily concentrate on a conversation with someone else, phone your parents or friends. I frequently do this when I am driving to and from work (I know you’re not supposed to, but I go hands free) or when I am cleaning.
- As you are dropping off those Christmas goodies for friends, family and neighbors, make some detours to enjoy the Christmas Lights. – I used to love doing this as a kid, but as I got older I stopped. I figured I had better things to do with my time. The truth is making time for what you enjoy is important. You can even do this before all those Christmas parties you are attending. Just leave the house a little earlier and pick some streets to drive down on your way. It’s typically not hard to find houses with Christmas lights. You and your family/spouse can decide which house was the best.
There are so many ways to bring back the spirit of giving and time this Christmas season. In everything you do, from shopping to baking to attending Christmas parties, just remember the Reason for the Season. It makes all those “tasks” seem much more meaningful, and a lot less like “tasks.” Those tasks become more like acts of kindness. Christmas isn’t about who is the “busiest” person; rather, it’s all about honoring others and giving, even if it’s small. Above all it’s about honoring the birth of our Savior.
When you put it all in perspective you can answer those questions this Christmas season with “It’s a wonderful time of year” “I’ve enjoyed time with friends and family” you get the gist. Christmas is our opportunity to give and make time for those we love.
When you have a giving attitude during the holidays it makes everything so much more fun. Those “tasks” don’t feel like tasks anymore You don’t want to look back and wish you would have made more time for doing the fun things during the holidays, and you especially don’t want to look back and wish you had made more time for family and friends.
Hope you find some time this Holiday Season!!
Until next time Be Whole, Be Fit and Be unbusy!! 😉
Do you have tips for making time during the Holiday season for what’s truly important?