My “Heart Holiday” To-Do List

November 21, 2022

Earlier this week I sat down to begin my list of all the things I need to do to be prepared for the holidays. The gift list, the hosting/entertaining list/the house prep list. I love a good party and love to celebrate! We have so much to be thankful for and so much goodness around us if we are open to seeing it.

Yet this year while getting into the “holiday prepping mode” I had a passing thought… and decided not to ignore it. I was reminded of all the previous years where my organized list kept me on track and helped me pull everything together. I love preparing to celebrate with my friends and family, yet often times this leaves me wanting something more at the end. This year, I decided, I’m ready to experience something new.

I decided to create an additional “to-do” list. One that helped me move towards my goal of a slower pace with more time for absorbing all the beauty this season has to offer. Of course, I will need to look at places other than my favorite home decorators on Instagram and the many places vying for my attention telling me “we know how to make this season one of the best yet”.

This list needs to generate from my heart and help me capture more of what leaves me feeling full and less empty…and hopefully less exhausted. When January rolls around I want to look back in wonder and amazement as much as I feel excited anticipation now. I’ve decided I’m not willing to let this season slide by in a blur. 

I know this might sound silly, but I wanted to open myself to receive a special “gift” of new understanding for all this season holds. Of course, as a believer, I rejoice each year at all that Christ’s birth means for mankind. But has my agenda robbed me of fully rejoicing in what this means? I suspect so. And I also believe every year to come will hold a special nugget of new awareness and understanding. It just takes my decision to pause…long enough…to open and accept it. 

So here goes…

“To Do’s” for my heart and soul this Holiday Season” 

  • Embrace the Advent season…don’t focus on only the 25th, but spend time making each day up to Christmas contain special pockets of time for reflection and prayer.
  • Replace a few nights of busyness with time absorbed in a good book and hot cider. Imagine, ponder, listen to the longings…
  • Meet the dear older lady near me, take her a treat, and perhaps spend a few minutes with her.
  • Most of all, DON’T give up and get into survival mode! Stay present and be willing to let my agenda and ideas for perfection go. Accept the beautiful gift of recognizing each day is precious (and all I really have). Every moment appreciated won’t be regretted or be turned into a blur later.

Well, this is my list. It might look different for you. Even as I’m writing it I’m realizing it’s not as much about what I do as how I am in the moment.

What would your “heart list” look like? 

What do you long for as you prepare, and what will you want to remember when you look back at the Christmas season of 2022? 

How will you spend time appreciating the “present” and turning the blur into wonderful memories?

Cheers!…oh wait, not yet! I’m chilling…:).