Tuesday, December 6, 2016

On Slowing Down this Season

"We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, and truly see the things that matter most." 
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Is it just me, or do the holidays seem to fly by and by the end of December, you're not sure how you got there and where the season went? I remember feeling so let down on the day after Christmas last year because just like that, it was gone...the most wonderful time of the year. I know that all good things must come to an end, but I was mostly upset because I wasn't sure I had even enjoyed the holiday season. And more importantly, I knew I hadn't focused on what Christmas is truly about.

Looking back, I spent most of it trying to check things off a holiday to-do list, trying to buy the perfect gifts, trying to wrap every present with the best bow ever.... just trying to do it all. And the thing about trying to do it all is.... you can't. You can't do it all without sacrificing something along the way. For me, I sacrificed the true joy, and meaning, of the holiday season. I let it pass me by. This year, I've entered the Christmas season with a whole new mindset: slowing down. I'm putting less emphasis on the holiday hype and more emphasis on the real reason for the season.

So how am I slowing down this season?

Focusing on Christ: I'm bringing the true meaning of Christmas back into my heart by focusing on the birth of Jesus. I've made it a priority to start each day in God's word with the She Reads Truth Advent Bible study.  It's been so nice to slow down and start the day reflecting on what this season really means and rejoicing in the fact that Jesus Christ was born - the most important gift we could have every received and the true reason for the season.

No holiday to-do list: In years past, I've always made a Holiday To-Do List to keep track of everything I want to get done during the holiday season.. like what holiday events I want to go to, the candy I want to bake, etc. While having a list helps with organization of events and activities, it also brought stress.. the stress of having to get everything done. This year, I'm focusing on just a few things and not a whole list. I may get to them, I may not... but either way I'm not stressing about it. It's not what the holidays should be about.

Minimalist mindset Our culture has convinced us that the best types of holiday celebrations involve more - more decorations, more presents, more time commitments, more stuff... but this year I've adopted the less is more attitude. I decorated less - using simple things like fresh greenery and things I already own. I didn't want to go buy more decorations... I'm tired of buying more. We are spending less on gifts and giving more to charities. I want to give less to things that are trivial and more to the things that matter.

How will you slow down this holiday season? I'd love to hear how you make sure to enjoy the season and what matters the most to you! As always, thanks so much for reading!

Photos | Catherine Truman

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