Wendy Poling
Frequent Contributor

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. - Larry Wilde


As we count down the final days till Christmas, I'm reminded that we don't have to give into the hustle and bustle going on outside our front door. We have the choice to slow down and be present in the current moment, to not think about yesterday, tomorrow or next week.


With that in mind, here are 7 ways to slow down and create some cherished moments this week:


  1. Simplify your routines. When it comes to meal prep, try "5 steps or less" meals or slow cooker recipes. Use the extra time to wrap presents or read a Christmas themed novel. One of my favorites is John Grisham's Skipping Christmas; it's hilarious and was later made into the movie Christmas with the Kranks, although the book is much funnier.
  2. Save time and money by buying online. Giving in to commercials for great deals in store means the added stress of finding a parking spot, dealing with grumpy shoppers and now having to ship a gift. Wait times in post office lines can set you back 30-45 minutes or longer. Find a gift that can be purchased online and shipped directly to your loved one.
  3. If you are hosting a party, don't be the "invisible hostess". Keep the menu simple, start on time and encourage guests to bring a side dish to save on your prep time. Enjoy your guests, encouraging conversation and drawing out conversations from those who might be shy and quiet.
  4. Ask family members what they enjoyed most about last Christmas, what they enjoyed least, and what they would like to do this Christmas. You might be surprised by their answers. This is a good way to create meaningful new traditions and gets rid of ones that don't work best for your family.
  5. Give back. Giving to others whether in sharing your time or purchasing a gift for a stranger in need is a great way to share the spirit of Christmas. Decide to donate to Toys for Tots, pull a name from an Angel Tree, or donate a gift to a local nursing home. If you have small children, offer to swap babysitting services with a fellow mom to allow time for last minute gift shopping.
  6. Breathe. Take a few moments when you are starting to feel overwhelmed to close your eyes and slow down your breathing. Take 10 slow deep breaths (counting to 10 during inhale and exhale). This works remarkably well and when I remember to do it, I can just about put myself to sleep!
  7. Let go of the idea of perfection. Your kids and your family will not remember how perfect the cookies turned out. They want your attention; make baking projects fun and frost outside the lines! If that means the frosting on the cookies is messy, then that is just perfect!


What are your ways to slow down and create cherished moments this holiday season?

Wishing you a peaceful and joy filled holiday week!