We are only two weeks away from Thanksgiving and forty days away from Christmas!
I've been in holiday preparation mode since Halloween,
and I thought it would be fun to share some of my goals to keep the holiday season
as peaceful and stress free as possible.
1) Keep the main thing the main thing...
The main thing of Thanksgiving is giving thanks, having a spirit of gratitude!
I'm still keeping my gratitude journal that I started in 2009,
and also keeping up my tradition of posting something I'm grateful for each day of the month of November on my Facebook page.
The main thing of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Christ.
It's all too easy to lose that focus and focus instead on all of the other things I love about Christmas...
-the gift giving
I love all of those things, but my love for Jesus Christ must have supremacy in my heart.
So, time with Him is more important than time spent on the other stuff.
I'm excited to be reading Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift this year.
I'm also planning to keep the Jesse's Branch tradition going,
a daily reminder of who Jesus is on the days leading up to Christmas.
2) Keep myself healthy...
If I'm overeating and not getting out to go on my walk/run, I'm a grump!
If I'm not spending adequate time with Jesus, I'm a grump!
If I'm not keeping my wits about me and living within our means, I'm a grump!
If my inner world is full of criticalness, unforgiveness and offenses, I'm a grump!
If my home is chaotic and messy, I'm a grump!
If my schedule is overbooked, I'm a grump!
A happy Elizabeth is a healthy Elizabeth...being grumpy is miserable,
so I know what I have to do to avoid the pitfalls that make me grumpy, stressed and irritable.
3) Clear out clutter and clean in advance...
I usually do a deep clean and purge around the house in the spring and before the holidays.
So, I'm already almost done with my pre holiday deep-clean, just by adding one bigger chore to the weekly housework.
So far I've-
-gone through my Christmas decorations and gotten rid of things I no longer love
-cleaned out all of the kitchen cupboards and pantry and gotten rid of "old food" as well as kitchen items I no longer need or use
-deep cleaned and rearranged the living room so I've already made room for the Christmas tree
(In this photo where you see the ladder, the tree will go,
and the ladder will be moved over near the fireplace where it will be used to hang the Christmas stockings from.)
3) Start buying now...
By pecking away at it bit by bit, knowing what we want to get for the people on our list,
and asking God to help us find good deals, (yes, I do think He cares even about things like this!), we've already got the bulk of our Christmas shopping done.
Also, while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I've been picking up a few extra things each week that will be needed for the holidays, (extra baking items, etc.), so that my grocery budget isn't impacted so much all at once.
4) Keep a peaceful atmosphere...
In my heart, (see number 2).
In my home.
-doing my best to eliminate clutter and chaos
-lighting some candles
-listening to some peaceful music
(I love to listen to Handel's Messiah while cleaning or crafting!)
-not overcrowding our schedule
Well, it's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!
Oh, and remember to click on the photo below to see how you can enter my giveaway
for this beautiful Ghanaian Market Basket!