As a mom, I believe that part of my responsibility is to make the house feel like a home. I think there are several factors that play into this role at the holidays. Today, I am going to share with you some of my thoughts on this topic.
Blessing my Home Blesses Myself and Those Around Me
I learned some home tidying skills from the Flylady years ago and when I am consistent with these tasks, I am much better able to stay on top of the housework. This blesses my family and allows me to be able to rest in the evenings and spend time with my husband. My oldest child recently made a comment after I helped him clean and organize his room, “Mom, it feels so nice in here when everything is clean.” It helps me relax when I am surrounded by a clean environment. I know there will always be messes when there are children in the house, but keeping on top of the household chores is one way that I like to make my house a home. As the holidays are upon us, there seems to be a continuous stream of activity, but I am committing to spending a little bit of time each day working on my house so we can enjoy a more peaceful holiday.
Remembering that Perfect Decorations Don’t Equal a Perfect Home
I have been learning to let go of some of my decoration hang ups. If the lights don’t get hung up outside until the week before Christmas, it is ok. If the kids want to do the tree decorating themselves, it is ok. If my daughter brings home multiple crafts from church that she wants to display, it is ok. One day these little people and treasures will be gone and creating their own Christmas traditions and messes in their own homes. I want to enjoy the moments I have with them today and not stress over a “Martha Stewart” home. There will be plenty of time for that later.
Gratitude is the Attitude
It is easy to feel overwhelmed, over scheduled and over worked during the holidays. I am learning to take a minute in the afternoons to read, put my feet up, light a candle, listen to some music or talk to a friend. In the busyness we call life, we need to make time for God, for ourselves and our friendships. I have made it a habit to spend a few minutes in personal devotion every morning before the kids get up. I am so much more relaxed and ready for the day when I sit at the feet of Jesus before I attempt to move through the motions of my day. When my attitude starts to get sour, I start to think of the blessings in my life. I am reading through One Thousand Gifts right now and I am seeing so much about gratitude that I never thought about before. Christ has given me so much. I want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in my home. It can start with one person exhibiting gratefulness and it can also be contagious.
Be in the Moment
I love to do little fun crafts and snacks with my kids. I love making memorable meals and upholding family traditions. Lately though, I have realized that as much fun as that is to me, I don’t have to seek perfection. Sometimes less is more and I need to allow for time to just be present in the moment. Make time to read that little book to my four-year old, get on the floor with my nine-year old and watch him create with blocks and Legos, really listen to the discussions that my twelve-year old begins. Put down the iPhone and hold hands with your spouse in the evenings. Memories for me involve quality time spent with loved ones.
As you prepare your home for the holidays, take a little time to prepare your heart. While clean and decorated houses are wonderful, a grateful attitude and taking time to be in the moment with our spouses and kids can make all the difference this holiday. Blessings!