When You Need Some Margin in Your Holidays

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We all know it, we all dread it, we all feel a low hum of anxiety over it: the rush and pressure of the holiday season.

Somewhere along the way, what we’re pretty sure was supposed to be a season of joy and peace has become a season of scurry and scramble, hustle and harried schedules.

When I became the wife and mom and chief coordinator of my family’s holiday happenings, two realizations broke the surface of my consciousness:

1 I had a much deeper appreciation for my own mom’s ability to plan, prep for, and pull off all the family fun we enjoyed in our home.

2 I recognized that enjoying the holidays, versus surviving them, would take intention.

So, I started making lists. (LOTS of lists.) I marked dates on the calendar. I budgeted carefully. And I even did a little post-holiday check-in with my husband, to figure out what worked for our family, and what didn’t.

But there still seemed to be too much—too much on our schedules, too much on the to-do list, too much noise in my soul.

Slowly, I’ve learned that setting our family’s goals for the holiday ahead of time has made the biggest difference. For the past year or two, I’ve written down what a peace-filled holiday season would look like and feel like for our family. And then, I’ve attempted to fit within or filter through that set of intentions all of our holiday plans.

It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been good, and I get a little better at it every year.

And this year, I’ve been thinking more and more about the three topics we talk about the most here together in this online space—identity in Christ, creativity, and community. I wanted to include this trio into my planning and goal-forging.

So, I’ve made something for us, you and me, to help both of us pursue a quieter, more intentional holiday season.

It’s called the Holiday Peace Planner, and it is your guide to pinpointing what matters, and making it a priority.

Consider this a free gift from me to you. The planner is a printable, journal-style workbook that walks through the Big Three of the holiday season I’m most familiar with—Thanksgiving, Christmas & Advent, and New Year’s. If these are not your holidays, I think the questions in the planner can still be valuable. Just apply them to the holidays that you and your family observe and enjoy.

The planner includes a manifesto on identity, creativity, and community, and a set of questions for each holiday to help you prioritize what matters to you and your family. As each holiday usually places different demands on our time, energy, and soul space, the questions differ slightly from one section to the next.

The Holiday Peace Planner will be available for you to download, print, and use on October 24th. If you’re already subscribed to the email list, it will be sent directly to your inbox on that date.

If you don’t already receive the weekly-ish newsletter I send out to subscribers, sign up below. All subscribers are the first to access my free gifts, hear news about projects in the works, and read stuff the rest of the internet never gets to see.

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