There was a soft knock on our bedroom door, followed by a soft explanation. “Mom. Dad. You might want to check the tree. It’s REALLY leaning.”
All our careful planning and hard work was about to come crashing down, which would mean having to do it all over again, along with cleaning up busted ornaments.
I silently prayed while shaking Eddie awake. If he acted quickly enough, maybe he could prevent the impending disaster.
THAT sums up what can happen during the holiday season.
Sometimes we are one-leaning-tree away from not keeping it all together. And when I say I prayed… I actually did! This was not our first LEANING tree (you can read more about that here ) and I know my limitations. Re-decorating a Christmas tree is more than I want to handle.
As we slowly peeked out our bedroom door and over the stairway bannister, sure enough, our tree was slanting toward the floor at what Eddie described as a 60 degree angle.
Gotta love the Christmas season and all the chaos it can bring.
Don’t get me wrong… I DO love Christmas, but it’s A LOT to navigate.
In my last blogpost, I talked about how self-care can build resilience, with the conclusion being that a kind concern for our well-being gives us the ability to come back strong after hardship. I think the phrase works well for this time of year. Frankly, we can easily replace the word ‘hardship’ with ‘holidays’.
“A kind concern for our well-being gives us the ability to come back strong after (and during) the holidays.”
Christmas can be hard! … especially for women. So much of what needs to be handled, lands squarely on our shoulders. So many details to think through, gifts to buy, Christmas cards and letters to mail, decorating… just all of it!
How can we be kind to ourselves during the holiday season?
I want to offer a few practical thoughts on how I’m being kind to myself and staying strong during this season.
Self-Care and Resilience During the Holidays
- Schedule ‘official self-care time’: Immediately following Thanksgiving, requests began pouring in DAILY for my time, energy, and money. And… pretty much every request was a good thing… it’s just not maybe MY thing that I need to focus on.
I have pushed the pause button and taken back my calendar. I’m scheduling even the most unexciting things, such as cleaning my house, and blocking off the chunks of time I need to get it done. More importantly, I’m making sure I have space and time for all the special traditions my family wants to do. I’d recommend going so far as to schedule time to read, or knit, or… veg out! This has to come first… which leads me to number 2…
- Write a holiday mission statement: This is taken straight out of Kathi Lipp’s Christmas Project Planner. I love this! She walks you through a brainstorming process to come up with a statement that will be your filter for how to navigate the season. Here’s mine: “I want to be prepared and planned in order to have energy for the fun of the season, which includes time with family, time honoring God, and fun moments with friends and family.”
Simple but powerful. (And, yes, I could have said more about keeping Jesus at the center of it all, but I don’t struggle with doing that. He’s my everything! My struggle comes in having enough energy to do the things that bring so much joy to my family and to others we choose to bless.)
This is taped to my bathroom mirror and will guide my decision making this month.
- Double any and every recipe you make: This! This is my December time-saving strategy! Last night I was making dinner for another family and decided to triple the recipe, and freeze the extra one, giving me a free afternoon in the near future. Yay me!
And… just to finish my leaning Christmas tree story…
As I held our very fat and heavy tree in place, Eddie reinforced it with extra braces screwed to the bottom of the trunk.
It was now firmly and securely held in place.
That’s my prayer for you!!
May you be firmly and securely held in place these next few crazy weeks, by having a kind concern for your own well-being, making you able to stay strong during the holidays.