November 1 is here and when the loud sirens down town went off at precisely 12:00pm today, I looked out my window and thought — in just a few days we will be carving a turkey, reciting off all the things we are most thankful for with family and friends, and trying to decide if THIS year we will actually do the whole black Friday shopping thing! (…for the record, I’ve never been, never plan to go!)
But honestly, that is only a small, I mean a very minute moment of thought for me because what really feeds my inner joy is this – knowing that for the next 60 days, there is going to be such an adorable atmosphere for folks who simply want to slow down – eat hot soup – wear leggings – listen to all the Christmas music we can – as we get all nestled in the JOY of celebrating CHRISTmas! It truly is my favorite time of year, not because of any gift giving (gifts are not my love language! haha!), but because of the anticipation year after year of being able to build up to the biggest celebrations of the year – Christ’s birth.
So here are a few suggestions in really getting our heart and home all ready for the holidays:
1. Get rid of clutter – if it’s “too much” or soiled, torn, stained, or just time to part with it, now is the time. Living with less really is a way to live free to enjoy more!
2. Cook ahead – by cooking ahead, then when it’s time to make cookies or bake breads with family and friends, the aromas of the sweet treats will fill the space…and the main meals are ready to pop in the oven too. Always look for ways to save time in the kitchen.
3. Think through and put on paper fun activities for you and your family – if it’s not planned out, chances are it may end up being just a wonderful idea. Go head and make calls, make plans and do what you can to make the most of the holiday season.
4. Card shop/plan now – this NEVER goes out of style – sending out holiday cards. Get going with that now, so everyone can have most of the holidays to enjoy them.
5. Take care of yourself – the biggest temptation for me during the holidays is to go go go go go and never stop to care for myself. Self-care needs to be a priority during the holiday season. Exercise, eat healthy, read a book, take a long nap, get your nails done, create a “be still” place in your home that is literally where you go to read in your bible, pray and enjoy the presence of the Lord.
6. Don’t overload your calendar – not every invitation needs to get a “yes.” Really think about what YOU want to do as a family this holiday season and be guarded when it comes to overcommitting your time (and space) to activities and events.
7. Most importantly, lean in closer to the Lord through ceaseless prayer. Talk with Him all day long, enjoy His company, worship Him, let Him hear your praise. Holiday seasons are the time when all our hustle and bustle could sure replace our hallelujahs! Be sure to not let that happen!
I’m so excited y’all that November is here, and I pray that as you walk with God, as you seek and love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, that you will experience Him in the most intimate ways so that your faith soars on wings as eagles!!
You are so deeply loved,