The holiday season usually causes me some angst. I like the lights of Christmas, but I don’t like the long winter and seasonal depression I push against. The holidays bring extra stress in an already busy schedule.

I used to approach the holidays rather Scrooge-like. A lot of work for one day that’s high on expectations. I’ve worked hard in recent years to get rid of Scrooge and find balance between the hype and Grinch. This year, I’m choosing simplicity as I enter the holiday season. Here are 5 things I started this year to make the holidays more peaceful all around.

1. Limiting time on social media. While I appreciate my personal and professional social networks, I’m pulling back from time spent on them and posting. I’ve realized how much we (myself included) post everything about our lives and I’m declining from broadcasting every event of our holiday season. Spending the last five days away from other’s lives and enjoying my own has been a release I can’t explain.

2. Decorating with simplicity. I’m one of those people who keeps my lights and “winter” tree up until February. I decorate more for the winter than for the glitz of Christmas. This year, though, I scaled back on what I brought out for my winter and Christmas decorations. With only a few days with all of my children home, I didn’t want to spend most of my free time hanging up ornaments. While still sufficiently decorating, I kept “less is more” in mind and am pleased at the beauty of ligh5 hacks for a peaceful christmasts, candles, and simplicity.

3. Letting things go. The holidays bring all sorts of tensions, expectations, and reasons to argue or let people know you’re disappointed. While I’m not perfect in this department, I’m consciously working to let things go that normally would bother me.

4. Praying more. Another pet peeve around Christmas is the idyllic picture of what’s good in life. If you know anyone whose life isn’t so great right now, the holidays can make that grief or sadness even worse. There’s a lot that pulls people down at the holidays and also sends them scrambling for materialism to fill their emptiness. I’m choosing to pray for those of whom the holidays is hard, even if they don’t say so.

5-hacks-for-a5. Really appreciating life. The marking of Christmas reminds me my children are older, as are my parents and everyone else around me. Instead of looking back and being sad over the loss of youth and years, I’m embracing this season for what it is – today. I’ve witnessed enough tragedy to know time spent over “what was,” “if only’s,” and “when” is futile. I’m thankful for this holiday season because I don’t know what next year or the following years will bring.

Did you know I have a book just for busy moms with tips like this for a lifestyle for your crazy parenting season? Order it here or for an autographed copy here! Also, join us on Facebook for videos on parenting and life beyond the storybook image (parenting series now–raising kids in an ungodly world). 

What are things you’re learning this holiday season? How are you enjoying the season or coping with challenges? How can we pray for you?

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