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Keeping the Holidays Joyful


Joyfulness is a Choice.

Just as Love is a Choice.

At the end of a work day, does your husband wonder daily if he’ll come home to Cinderella?

Or Dracula?

Is he eager to return home to your loving arms, or would staying after hours at the office be a better plan?

…especially during the holidays.

Are you eager to set the stage for a lovely and memorable Christmas season in your home?  Or do you struggle with bitterness and envy at all that you “don’t” have.  Is passive aggression your fall back sin, or do you just raise your voice and let everyone in the family know how you “feel” because you don’t want to pretend?  Have you told yourself that it’s ok to yell as long as you are ‘honest’?

Well sisters, I’m sorry to break it to you but…

erin_1204_2013

you don’t have that freedom.

As wives and mothers we are the thermostats of our home.  Our family responds to our moods no matter what we tell ourselves.  Your joy-less heart really does hurt your loved ones.

The good news is that we can begin fresh right now.

Here are a few tips to help you bring a joyful and peaceful heart to your home this Christmas.

  1. Figure out why you are mad – confess to the Lord and your family, and humbly ask forgiveness.  Invite the Lord into your heart to bring you His true joy.
  2. Rise early before the family.  Spend those precious early morning hours preparing your heart for the demands of the day.
  3. Lower your holiday expectations.  If you have toddlers and babies, or are nine months pregnant, don’t try to do everything you think is important.  Short cuts are completely acceptable, especially with little ones. It really is OK not to put out the full spread of holiday lights in the front yard, or perfectly wrapping all your gifts for extended family.  Besides, before you know it, you will have teens in the home helping you more than you could ever dream.  Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
  4. Do a babysitting swap – Make your husband a priority and don’t neglect date night.
  5. Stage lots of pictures – This might sound silly, but you will be amazed at how much laughter and joy a daily dose of staged holiday pictures will do on your phone.  It’s cheap entertainment for the kids and keeps everyone happy and laughing.
  6. Play uplifting music in the home – make sure it doesn’t annoy your spouse!
  7. Always have something cooking in the kitchen.  It can be as simple as store bought chocolate chip cookie dough, or a weekly pot of chili, chicken and dumplings, or homemade bread. When there are pleasant smells coming from the kitchen, it just puts the entire family in a better mood.  Buy some fresh cranberries, cover with water, and simmer them with cinnamon sticks and cloves.  Your home will smell like Christmas!
  8. Give to others – Make a meal with your kids and take it to a new mom.  Take your children to a local nursing home and let them visit with the residents.  Teach them how to play straight dominoes and take them on an outing to spread some Christmas cheer.  Nothing blesses a husband more than when his wife and kids are full of joy from a day of service.
  9. Make homemade gifts – Keep it simple, look on Pinterest for some easy homemade gifts you and your kids can make for friends and neighbors.

10. Don’t go into Debt – This is a biggie.  Money is a huge stress for your husband, bless him this Christmas with a heart of contentment – YOURS!  Show him that you love him, no matter how many gifts are under the tree.  I have a friend who gives each child ten dollars and takes them to the dollar store just so they can buy something small to wrap up for the family.  It doesn’t matter what it is, no one remembers the gifts anyway, it is the experience they remember.

Finally, don’t wait for your spouse to do all the planning, ask him what his ideal holidays look like and do your best to help make that happen.  If I have learned one thing, you don’t need money to fully enjoy the Christmas holidays.  You can take your kids out to look at lights, walk in the park, watch movies, sing songs as a family, take LOTS of PICTURES, enjoy every minute of this very special season.  What are some of your tips for remaining joyful during the holidays?  We would love to hear from you.

 

laundry mom ErinLaundry Mom~Erin♥


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