I am not the most domestic person on the planet. In fact, I’m generally not the most domestic person in the room—any room. This tends to cause insecurity around the holidays, aka the-time-of-the- year-when-people-try-to-see-how-large- they-can-flex-their-decoration-muscles. I often find myself sweating in the aisles of Hobby Lobby, agonizing over which wrapping paper to purchase, trying to find the perfect roll that will hide the fact that my present wrapping skills are sad and treacherous. I am also the first to volunteer to bring something to a holiday party so that I can snag the coveted 2-liter beverage contribution before anyone else can. I genuinely struggle through this season.

These insecurities, built on top of the fact that there are a multitude of events to attend during the holiday season, can really take a toll. I find myself not only obsessing over how to display my gift/decoration/food dish to appear as if I’ve got life figured out, but I’m also trying to replicate that very “like I’ve got life figured out” 10 different times! Saying this is overwhelming is an understatement.


It is inevitable that every year around this time I have to take a huge step back and reevaluate my focus. I remind myself that it’s not about what Target suggests I buy for our Christmas decorations (I really love Target and their suggestions) or how big our Christmas tree is. It’s about time well-spent with those we love. While these busy months are the best excuse to get together with friends and family to celebrate the joy of the season, we tend to fill them up with anxiety and expectations. Why must we drain this life-giving season of all its wonder?

Slow Down

If we take the time to meditate on the God-given reason that this season is so celebrated, our hearts follow suit, and suddenly these material things that we spend so much of our time worrying over turn into the silliest of problems. We no longer care what people will think about us when they see our humble Charlie Brown tree. We are no longer concerned when others find out the cookies we brought are of the break-and-bake variety (guilty…always guilty). Instead, knowing that when we open our hearts, our doors and our calendars to spending time with loved ones, it will become evident what is most important to us — time well-spent, love well-shared and Jesus well-celebrated.

This year, before the holiday crazies set in, take time to realign your heart with what is truly important. Stop giving in to the pressures of consumerism and buying all of the glittery decorations you can get your hands on. Instead, spend time with loved ones making your own. Cut snowflakes out of paper or use marshmallows and fishing wire to create your own winter wonderland. Hit the grocery store and buy produce that doubles as décor you can eat when ripe. Invite friends over for an open house potluck. If you are one of those baking-types, then by all means bake! Decorate with clippings of evergreens from the yard.

It’s simple really. When we reallocate our time from shopping and indulging to sharing and creating, our hearts will truly feel the blessings of this most wonderful time of the year.

[Photography by Amber Harris Photography]