Keeping Christmas Simple with Little Ones in the House

It’s a few days before Christmas, and all through the house…..

  • Mom is going crazy, trying to get everything done, barking orders, pulling her hair and generally grumpy
  • Kids are bouncing off the walls, excited for church programs, Christmas movies and gifts
  • Husband is annoyed, wishing everyone would just settle down as he tries to wrap up work projects before December 25th.

Doesn’t sound like the joyous occasion it should be, does it?

Keeping Christmas Simple

Written by monthly contributor, Jenn from The Purposeful Mom:

Every year I am the mother in that house described above. Stressed, frustrated, annoyed and grumpy. Even as I write this post, I’m thinking of all the other things I need to get done that I’m not doing. Not exactly the shining example of Christmas cheer!

I personally think we are being distracted by so many things that aren’t worth our time. And so, even though it’s just a few more days until Christmas comes, I’d encourage you to just simply….stop.

Look around you. At the twinkling lights of the tree. At the nativity scene displayed prominently on your shelf. At the children that fill your home with laughter and, yes, noise. At your husband who just needs a little attention. At the pile of Christmas music CDs you have yet to play because you’ve been too busy to relax and enjoy them.

A clean home is not of eternal value. Perfectly wrapped gifts are not either. There is one thing of eternal significance about this holiday. The Babe in the Manger who came over 2000 years ago, became a man, died on the cross and rose again so that our lives can be spent in eternity with Him.

Originally I wanted to write this post with five steps to keeping Christmas simple. And I still will, but not without that which is of first importance being fresh in my mind. I really need that reminder each day, but especially, ironically, at this time of year!

Once we’ve reflected on this beautiful truth, let’s think together of some things we can still do to simplify our Christmas, though it’s only a few days away.

  • Put aside the aspirations of the perfectly clean house for your Christmas gatherings. Use the 10 minute rule to clean each room of the house. Go as fast as you can through each room and after 10 minutes, stop. Once the pertinent rooms have been gone through, give the carpeted areas a quick vacuum and the hard floors a sweep and scrub over the dirtiest spots. Bonus points if you get your children to help you! ;)
  • Let the kids help you wrap Christmas gifts for their teachers and grandparents! Don’t worry about what they look like. Let them have fun because that’s what they’ll remember, not a perfectly placed bow or piece of tape.
  • If you have too many activities going on, see if there are some you can say no to. Then say no to more next year. It’s liberating, I tell you!
  • Don’t make the seven kinds of cookies you were going to attempt to bake. Make two kinds of cookies and let them be the simpler ones. I promise, no one will complain! {The exception to this, of course, is if you have some complicated recipe you bake as a tradition every year.}
  • When you feel the most stressed, turn on your Christmas CDs or Pandora Station and just sit. Maybe with a cup of hot cocoa. Or some of your fresh baked Christmas cookies :)

Remember, no matter what expectations you put on yourself, that what your children will love and recall when they grow up is the time they spent with you watching a Christmas movie, driving around and looking at lights in the neighborhood, singing Christmas carols about Jesus’ birth at a candlelight service and reading Advent and Christmas passages from the Bible as you marvel at the Gift in the manger.

Nativity photo credit

Don’t let the hurry of the season make you focus only on the “good” rather than the “best”. Put aside the expectations of others and do as you are led to do this time of year. Keep Christmas simple. Simple is how Jesus came into the world.

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7, ESV

 

Jenn ThorsonJenn is a daughter of the King, happily married to her college sweetheart and mom to three wonderfully spunky children. She spends her time taking care of her home and family, coaching a speech team, blogging and dreaming up more ideas than there are hours in the day. She shares her thoughts on staying debt free, raising children of character and living a life of intentional faith one day at a time at The Purposeful Mom.

Jenn is also the author of God’s Word in My Heart: A Scripture Learning Guide with Memory Verses.

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