Let's think about this time of year.
Kid gifts. Teacher gifts. Gifts for your spouse. Gifts for your family. Gifts for your in-laws. Christmas cards. Christmas tree. Christmas decorations. Family traditions. Snacks for the class party. Cookies for the neighbors. Potluck dish for Christmas dinner. Family photos. Visiting Santa. Elf on the Shelf. Stocking stuffers. Wreaths. Holiday travel. Amazon deals. USPS mailing times.
Feeling overwhelmed yet?
The options for what we could do, see, eat, and buy this season are endless. And yet, we are finite beings. One of my top goals for the Advent season is to stay peaceful amidst the potential to get overwhelmed.
And to do that, I've said no to a lot of things - a lot of good and sometimes very meaningful things! - to be able to say a wholehearted YES to a few.
Here's what I've said 'no' to...
Does this mean I will NEVER sing in the church choir? Have I decided to NEVER make my own gift wrap or attend a neighborhood party, because they're categorically a waste of energy? Nope. It just means that, this year, these were some things I chose not to do in order to more joyfully do the things I said YES to.
What I said YES to...
Honestly, it's a pretty short list.
What have you said 'no' to this season?
How has it helped you say an enthusiastic "YES!" to more important things?
Finally, I know my readers are coming from different spiritual backgrounds. I want you to know that, while my faith is an integral part of my life, I totally get that it may look different for you. The good news is that saying 'no' to be able to say an enthusiastic 'YES!' can apply to all kinds of things in life. I'd love to know what you are learning, whether in the context of Christmas or not.
Let's say 'no' so that our 'yeses' are wholehearted and joyful this season. Leave a comment with your own 'nos' and 'yeses' - I read each and every one!
12/13/2017 01:49:19 pm
I said "no" to making and gifting baked goods to a group of friends we gather with every December. While normally fun, this year the idea of selecting recipes, shopping, baking, and wrapping sounded more burdensome than festive and enjoyable. So, I went to my favorite gourmet popcorn shop and bought the six families bags of popcorn. The money I paid was well worth the time and energy I saved to be able to say a wholehearted "yes!" to something else.
12/14/2017 09:49:02 am
Ah, Carrie, I love it! I like that you were able to see that the baking is normally fun, but just seemed burdensome this year. It's not a black-and-white thing, but a matter of taking a moment to check in with yourself to see what's going to get your wholehearted YES this season.
12/14/2017 12:36:05 am
I started my "No" at Thanksgiving, when I decided we would forgo the stress of getting the bird on the table, and trying to figure out who we should spend the day with, by taking a lovely journey to Leavenworth. Having grown up in Germany, the Bavarian-themed town has just enough genuine German-ness for me to redeem it from its' own kitschiness. Best part? Real, and really GOOD, German food for Thanksgiving dinner!!! Schnitzel with noodles, anyone?
12/14/2017 09:51:09 am
Ah HA! You've been doing this "say no to say yes" thing even before the Christmas season - love it, Kristina! I can just imagine you enjoying connecting to your roots in Leavenworth. How fun to have the freedom to say 'no' to a turkey dinner and a 'YES!' to schnitzel and noodles. :)
12/16/2017 10:35:34 am
Just this morning, a week from Christmas, I woke up with a headache and dreading the list of to dos for today. I keep seeing all the alluring sales and ads urging me to buy pointless gifts and feeling stressed by the rampant consumerism.
12/20/2017 08:05:49 pm
Jessica, thank you so much for sharing. The rampant consumerism of the season is stressful! I chatted with a librarian about how Christmas isn't even a big deal for her, but even then it can be a busy/frenzied time.
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