The season is finally upon us – the most wonderful time of the year!
And while Christmas has the potential to be especially wonderful, it’s also incredibly easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle – even in doing the things we love.
I could be the poster child for all things Christmas, y’all.
I want to do it all. I want to see it all. I want to experience it all – the trees, the lights, the carolers, the sounds, the smells, the joy, the peace. Give me Christmas all year long!!
Then, reality hits.
Before long, I’m exhausted with no sleep and running frantically behind in everything that has to be done before December 25.
Every year I say, “Next year things are going to be different.”
And they usually aren’t all that different.
Anybody else relate???
We’ve made small progress over the years, and for that, I’m super thankful. Brian has to remind me of that progress when I’m losing it and ready to throw in the towel. Believe me, I have those days.
I have to be reminded that every YES means a NO to something else.
Most of the time my family is the one that suffers the most. They end up with an ill-tempered mom who can’t handle the pressure to keep up.
Are you feeling the urge to say NO more? It’s okay to do something different. It’s okay to go against what everyone else seems to be doing. I’m right here with you, friends.
My theme for 2017 has been:
Here we go – 5 things we’re saying NO to this Christmas – the “UNbucket” list:
#1 - NO to a gazillion gifts under the tree for our kids
We learned pretty quickly in our parenthood journey that gifts can get out of control. WAYYYYY out of control. Before you know it, your house is exploding with toys and crap everywhere. This is not good. It’s not good for our kids, either. We want to teach them to be good stewards. That starts with the examples we live out each day. For that reason, we’ve implemented a 10 gift limit for our kids under the Christmas tree (and before you balk, some of our friends do less than 10!).
Here is our breakdown:
2 gifts your child wants.
2 gifts your child needs.
2 gifts for your child to share.
2 gifts for your child to wear.
2 gifts for your child to cherish and keep.
That’s it! Our children still have way more than they need and this helps us (ME) to not go crazy in the gift-giving frenzy.
#2 - NO to exchanges of all kinds
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE EXCHANGES!! Cookies, ornaments, gifts, whatever man! We just don’t have the capacity this year. Our life is a little busier than normal and something has to give. For our family, I have decided we’ll graciously decline all exchanges this year. Don’t get your feelings hurt when we say no. 🙂
#3 - NO to an overbooked and overplanned Christmas break
It’s tempting to plan all kinds of fun while our kids are out for Christmas break. This year, we’re forcing ourselves to slow down – big time. Kylie needs her tonsils out and we’ve chosen the day after Christmas as the big day. This will keep us home and more focused on our family – that is something we need during Christmas break, for sure.
#4 - NO to the chronic need and expectation to buy gifts for everyone
I know, I know. We all feel this pressure. The “buy a gift for everyone” pressure. Me too. Me too. The only way we can stop this madness is to be the one to say no more. And if you want to thank someone for being a great friend, how about spend time baking cookies or candies as a family and let those be your gifts to spread Christmas cheer? That way you have an experience and a small token of appreciation for the mailman, the office co-worker, and whoever else pops into your mind! Yay!!
#5 - NO to technology from 6-9pm every single night
Ok, I saved the biggest NO for last. This topic has been weighing on my heart for months. Brian and I really struggle (more so me than Brian, I should say) with distractions that take away from our family in the evenings.
Work. Emails. This blog. Social Media. You know all those distractions, right??
A friend recently shared how he was implementing a Technology-Free zone in their home for a specific time each evening. He wanted to dedicate more time to his wife and family. The goal was simple – drop the phones in the basket. Put the laptops away. Spend time together. REAL togetherness.
I want that.
I want it more than this blog. I want it more than success. I want to cherish these fleeting moments with my children. Oh, how fast the years go.
These Christmas traditions I love so much won’t have true meaning if I’m not present. Our memories will be cluttered with distraction if I’m not careful to set the right example for our kids.
How about you? Today’s #trashouttuesday is the perfect chance to make your own NO list for Christmas 2017. Let’s make this year different. Let’s make our families a priority again. We can do this!!
I’d love to hear what you’re saying no to in the comments below. Your ideas may encourage an entire family to change for the good!
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