By Guest Blogger Carrie Sockwell, author of Our Carolina Home
Christmas Eve was my favorite day growing up as a kid. I loved it so much more than Christmas day because of the anticipation and build up of Christmas coming to an overwhelming peak. The excitement of Santa coming that night, the Christmas Eve service at church and all the decorations made that one day the best. I would go to bed those nights wanting time to stop so I could hold in all of that joy and excitement forever. However, morning would come, it would be wonderful, and it would be over just like that.
To this day, I still love Christmas Eve and I still try to make the most out of the day for my family and I. We do the traditional activities that I did as a kid, like sit out the cookies and milk for Santa, go to our Christmas Eve service at church while taking photos and videos to help cherish those moments forever. However, just like when I was a kid, morning comes, it is wonderful and it ends just as quick.
So how can we hold on to the joy we get from Christmas Eve and apply it to the rest of the year? There are 364 other days that can feel like Christmas Eve. It just depends on our attitude and outlook on each day we have and I have decided I want every day to be like Christmas Eve.
1. Stop Blaming Time.
I recently read a quote from Joanna Gaines that really stuck with me. She says, “I was wrong to blame time for so many years, to call it a thief for moving too fast. I’ve found that the real thieves are distractions and our willingness to give in to them, to allow our thoughts and energy to fuel their journey toward some lesser thing. In the end, they are what will steal our moments and rob our days. But time—the here and now—is our most precious gift. And I’m determined to hold it carefully with outstretched and grateful hands.” Jo is so right that distractions take away from precious moments and exciting times with our families. When I say I want every day to feel like Christmas Eve it is because Christmas Eve has very little distractions. I’m not exhausted from work, I’m not thinking about a mile long “to do” list. It is just simple and joyful. So if we want every day to feel Christmas Eve, we have to get rid of some distractions, look up at what we have in front of us, and give it our all.
2. Focus Less on Stuff and more on Experiences.
What makes the holidays so special for kids and adults is all of the experiences that the whole family can be apart of. There are Christmas lights to see, performances at school and in the community, there are special activities that young and old alike can be apart of. We all can find things to do together. But then after Christmas, its like all those magical experiences go away. So let’s be intentional about creating these memories together and focus less on all the stuff. Think big or small with these experiences. It could be a family vacation, or a picnic in the park. Maybe family game night every Friday or a visit to the local theater. I promise you that these moments will last longer than any toy, video game or “to do” list ever will. Just like those Christmas Eve memories do.
Two ideas can go a long way and I am determined to give more energy and time into these things in the future. We can make every day meaningful. We can make every day intentional.
We can make every day like Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas Eve and go make today wonderful!
-Carrie, Our Carolina Home
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