How to Stay Mrs. Claus - and not become the Grinch!
Ahhhhh Christmas! Gorgeous decorations all around, mouth-watering food, inspiring church services, mailboxes filled with Christmas cards (including the perfect family pictures,) magical moments with your children, festive get togethers with family, delightful gatherings with friends and acquaintances, and the joyful sound of Christmas music. Right!?!
If Christmas is supposed to be such a fun, relaxing, joyful and light-hearted season, why do we usually end up exhausted, grumpy, overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and over budget? That’s because most of the time we go into the holiday season without a plan! And without a plan, a vision for what we want this time of the year to look like, we quickly adopt society’s agenda, our extended families’ plan, or even our kids' whims for the season! Keep from turning “Grinchy” this year as you try to do it all. Here are 5 simple steps to get a plan - and maintain your inner Mrs. Claus.
Step 1: Determine your top 2 or 3 Christmas values
In coaching we call our values our "must haves" in life. These are the most important elements to us - the things that we most desire and want to have to have included in our life. Values drive our decisions and actions. Values are unique to each individual and are shaped by our life experiences, personalities and stage of life! Some examples of values during the Christmas season might include, generosity, faith, beauty, fun, family and peace. What are the elements you most want to see and focus on during this season?
Once you have selected your top two or three values, define them. We define our values so that we are absolutely clear on what they mean to us. For some people the value "family" would be defined as their immediate family. However, for others the definition would include extended family and close friends.
It's important to know what our values are because again, if we don't chose our own, we will unconsciously adopt those surrounding us such as social media, retailers, or even great Aunt Gertrude!
Step 2: Create your Vision and Plan
Values are the basic building blocks of the Christmas plan. Knowing values, but not taking this next step, can be compared to having the Christmas present purchased but not yet wrapped and under the tree. The most important element is there, but one is not yet Christmas ready! This step is where we decorate the basics and create the perfect, Christmas ready plan!
Take 5 or 10 minutes and imagine that it is Christmas evening. The Christmas lights are aglow and you have experienced the most ideal Christmas season. Describe in detail what happened these past three weeks. Who were you with? What did you do? How do you feel? How were your values expressed? What were the smells, the sounds, the sights and the tastes you experienced?
This written creation will become the working plan. One this is finished, it is time for step number three.
Step 3: Strategize how to execute your plan and values
This step is very practical. Look at your vision. Think about the best way to activate that vision and create the experiences and scenes you described.
Some possible strategy options are:
1) Use the Calendar.
Most times if things are on the calendar - they happen. Focus on one value per weekend and do activities that surround that theme. Or, schedule one event for each value during the season. Or possibly even, schedule a time simply to talk about your Christmas values as a family.
2) Incorporate values into what you are already doing.
We all know that at Christmas time some activities are scheduled for us - like family gatherings. Brainstorm ways to fold your values into what you are already doing. For example if one of your values was generosity, bring a gift for the family gathering host and hostess, or a small table favor for each family member in attendance, or even generously offer to clean up after the meal.
3) Create a room/space in your home that honors your values.
For example, if one of your Christmas values is peace, have one room in your home that stays decorated and pristine during the holiday season. Or for generosity, put a piggy bank out for collecting coins to be given to the bell ringers.
Step 4: Execute your plan
Once you have your plan created and know how you want to be strategic - do it! Enjoy and experience the fulfillment of knowing you are being intentional this holiday. You will be doing what is most important, most meaningful, and most fun as defined by you.
Step 5: Evaluate
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, evaluate what happened. What went well? What were the highlights? What would you like to do differently next year? What will become a yearly tradition? What was it like being strategic in the holiday season? How did this plan serve you?
If you value peace - enjoy your quiet night sipping hot chocolate, basking the the glow of the soft Christmas tree lights. If you value faith - belt out your praise for Christ at the Christmas Eve service. And, if you value beauty - enjoy creating that mantle masterpiece and celestial centerpiece! But everyone sigh with a sense of relief. You know what to do! You can make your plan to shape a holiday specifically designed for you and your family. That Grinch is stuck north of Who-ville. You are ready to turn on the Claus and have a holly, jolly Christmas.
Stones Crossing Church MOPS
1- 25.6 oz. box of dry milk 1 - 6 oz. container of Coffee Mate 1 cup of powdered sugar
1 - 16 oz. container of Nestle's Quick
Mix ingredients. Recipe makes 32 hot chocolate servings.
Place 1/3 - 1/2 cup of prepared mix in a normal sized coffee mug and add boiling water. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas & Warmest Wishes!
I help women confidently navigate life during the season of motherhood. Shift from "reacting" to purposefully leading your life - which eliminates overwhelm and guilt and brings joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.