Maintaining peace in the family through the busy crazy holidays
Author: Noelene Morton
I am a wife of 33 years and a mother of 4 daughters. I have been both a stay at home mom and a working mom. I love planning holidays and enjoy my family around me. I long for time sitting alone and journaling, reading or spending time talking with God. All the above bring me great peace.
Growing up I never experienced advent other than seeing those calendars with a prize for each day. It was a fun way to work our way to Christmas.
As a parent and wanting to ensure my children understood the meaning of Christmas, I began looking at family advents. I bought a few books and attempted many times to complete the 30 day cycle. But our Decembers were so packed with programs and concerts, we never could complete them. I felt defeated. How do others do this every night? This was another stressors in my season-the failed advent.
Still desiring to bring my families attention to Christ throughout the month of December, I thought of doing a condensed version. 5 lessons, one a week, covering each of the traditional focuses for advent. This was something we if felt confident that we could accomplish. One day a week.
I could not find condensed versions anywhere. Apparently no one does it this way. Being the rebel that I am, I began writing my own. 5 lessons, one a week throughout the month of December. I start praying about a theme around September. This year, I began thinking maybe Gods not giving me a message because nothing had struck home. Maybe I just need to start looking again. But this week it come to me.
So off I go again on another 5 week journey, to learn and teach my family about the love, hope and joy of Christ throughout the month of December. It has become a joy for me to do during those cold November mornings..
What can you do this Christmas season to make sure your families focus remains on Christ through this busy time.
Maybe you can find 1 verse a week to write on a board or one christmas hymn to sing as a family about the birth of Christ. Or paint wrapping paper together and talk about the amazing gift God sent in His son.
Start the thought process now so that you may have peace through the holidays.
I checked out amazon yesterday for Christmas pajamas. I think I found the ones I want to buy. I have all the sizes gathered. Next I just need to make the purchase.
I went shopping for our fall festival which will be on Friday. My hubby sent out all of the invites per text. Easy, right? And while I was shopping I picked up a few canned goods and baking supplies for Thanksgiving and the food drive at church.
Last night after everyone got home, we drove to a local florist that sells many varieties of pumpkins. Everyone picked a pumpkin (or two). We carved our designs, each with their own flare. Each year I cannot wait to see what everyone will come up with.
Later, we made homemade pizza and had a relaxing evening around the dinner table. It was a great family night filled with peace and laughter.
I sent out my texts asking for jammie sizes from everyone. If they don’t respond soon I will give them a call. I am preparing to do some shopping this weekend. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. I may go to amazon to look first. Although I do have 25% plus 15%off at kohl’s right now!
Fliers have been printed for the Fall Festival we are planning. The girls edited it so that will be handed out this week.
Fall Festival shopping will be done next week.
In the midst of it, I am getting one child’s Sr pictures made this weekend and a small post wedding reception for after Thanksgiving for another daughter. To keep my cool I gotta have a plan.
Are you a procrastinator? I am. I cannot seem to get started on my Holiday to dos without a plan. I need motivation. And people telling me how many days until Christmas only makes me more tense.
Over the years I developed a list with scheduled to dos that start the first week of October. Yes, start now!!
Some of the October to dos include:
1. Make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for
2. Start looking for Christmas jammies (I have found that all the good ones are gone by November).
3. If you dont have a menu made for Thanksgiving and Christmas, make one then divide it by what can be bought now and what to buy late. Then you can look for sales.
4. If you want pumpkins, get them before the 31st because they are gone after that.
5. Start looking for sales for decor, gifts and food.
6. Start planning how you will keep a Christ focus throughout this time. Look at different advents or things you can read together as a family. Do you want to go to a church program together? Look for wall hangings that lead your family to reflect on what Christ has done for us.
7. Make time for Bible study, prayer and self care so you will be a peaceful influence in your house.
Ok. Stop procrastinating, make your list and get it done.
It always seems that by the time I get to shopping for christmas jammies the selection has dwindled. So 2 years ago I determined that I would get jammies for the girls and myself in October.
I’ve already seen them in the stores. With 2 who can only wear cotton, this makes it double hard. Foue daughters, a granddaughter and myself to buy for shopping early ensures that I can find matching for us all. Later in the month, I will get the guys.
Let the Christmas shopping begin.
Getting this out of the way will allow more time to focus on more important things like preparing the advent and creating an environment of peace.
I love pumpkin time. Pumpkin spice coffee makes me feel warm and comforted. The many varieties of pumpkins lining the entry way into the marketplace brings me joy. The colors and textures are amazing.
I recently flew to my daughters wedding and so bought a magazine to take with me. Everything you can imagine to cook or bake with pumpkin. Breakfast lunch and dinner as well as desserts.
When I returned I went hunting pumpkins to cook. I bought a few minis, a pie pumpkin, two mystic pumpkins and a Jack o lantern pumpkin. For now they are sitting in my kitchen bringing happiness to my heart. But soon, they will become food for my family.
I did go ahead and make pumpkin scone and pumpkin pancakes from a can last week. I couldn’t wait for a taste of the season. But Saturday…pumpkins, here I come!!!
God is so good to give us change. I believe change wakes us up a little. It gets us out of our rut. We slow down just a bit to notice the differences surrounding us.
Do today, take a moment to notice the change. Maybe in the temperature, the sky, or the grass. Maybe just the feel of the air around you. Wake up to God’s glorious world.