3 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Spirit

Holiday SpiritThe Holiday Season is here.

The crisp air, crunchy leaves, soup on the stove, snugly pajamas (or loungewear if you are wearing lip gloss), and an excuse to “test” cookie recipes like Something Swanky’s Smore’s bars.

When leftover turkey is like Manna from Heaven.

And Decorating for Christmas…How I love thee! (Ask me how many Christmas trees I have.)

Just thinking about decorating for the holidays makes me break out my old cheerleading chant, “We have Spirit, yes we do! We have Spirit, how about you?”

No matter how much joy decorating, baking, and quoting Elf gives me, the Holiday Spirit can turn into Stress Central.

The Stress Factor

When  “What are we doing for Thanksgiving”  becomes nightly pillow talk.

The only thing The Kid talks about is the pony Santa’s going to bring.

Expectations, obligations, traditions, naughty or nice (naughty for the win), be grateful/thankful/blessed and pass the Turkey!

Send the cards, host the party, try not to eat your weight in candy, give the gift, be merry, bright AND avoid whatever Great Aunt Matilda brought because her food gives me nightmares!

(*full disclosure: I don’t have a Great Aunt Matilda but I’ve seen some STUFF.)

 Sound familiar?

Let’s talk it out!

Before we get UN-invited to the neighborhood Turkey trot.

Before our kid writes “Make Mommy’s head stop spinning around” on their Christmas Wish List.

Before we long for anesthesia instead of standing around a cheese platter being asked “What do YOU do” all night long.

Before we start singing, “All I want for Christmas is a bottle of wine and a straw!”

3 Ways to KEEP your Holiday Spirit.

Holiday SpiritBe Honest

Talk it out.

What do you want the holiday season to look like?

What’s most important to you?

What would you like to do differently this year?

What’s something you’ve wanted to do as a family, with friends, on your own, or in your community.

Be Intentional

Schedule “NO OBLIGATION” days.

Days you refuse to do ALL THE THINGS.

Do it NOW!

I’ll wait…

With Love and Grace I have to say it:

Buy/Make/Give Gifts on Purpose.

Stop buying $5 gifts for the cousins you ONLY see on Christmas!

They don’t want it, don’t need it, and don’t want to pretend they’re grateful for it!

An article I read years ago showcases this mindset perfectly.

One year, a dad decided that instead of Christmas gifts he would make up a treasure hunt for his daughter.

He handed her the first clue and at the end of the hunt was an envelope of money.

He had one rule:

She could spend it on anything she wanted (within reason) BUT in one day AND with him!

They woke up, shopped, and he treated her to lunch.

This became their new Holiday tradition.

What can YOU do this holiday season to connect with people you care about?

Holiday SpiritBe Prepared

Before you say “Yes” to one more Holiday Party because you ran into Susie WhoCares at Target and she invited you.

Before “No problem at all” comes flying out your mouth when you’re asked to sew all the Wise Men costumes. (And you don’t own a sewing machine!)

Have your script ready.

“Thank you but I have a previous engagement.”

“I would love to spend time with you AFTER the holidays”

“I appreciate the offer but I’m unable to commit to that at this time.”

“Sorry, but I’ll be home in my pajamas eating Reese’s Cups” (Is that too honest?)

Refuse to Give in to the Madness.

Refuse to give into the madness this holiday season. Click To Tweet

Download this Great Resource

Victoria from Creative Home Keeper has created a beautiful  38 page Intentional Holiday Planner to help prepare your heart for the holiday season.

You’ll keep your spirit, Yes you will!


Holiday Spirit



25 thoughts on “3 Ways to Keep Your Holiday Spirit

  • Sarah November 1, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Once again, you’ve nailed this topic, sweet friend. I love- LOVE- the idea of “no obligation” days! I need to schedule some of those NOW. And thanks for the “polite no” quote options. I have such a hard time saying no. And the scavenger hunt idea? Brilliant. I tire of buying All The Things for my kids and random family members that have no meaning. Time to be intentional this year. Sharing this post everywhere!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Sarah, you’re the best! I’m gonna hold your feet to the fire to schedule those No Obligation Days. (Or just threaten to take away your coffee.)

  • Toni Harvey November 1, 2016 at 8:48 am

    What great reminders to slow down, learn how to say No, and enjoy the holiday. I stopped feeling obligated to buy gifts for everyone long ago. The benefit of coming from a large family I guess, but it’s so freeing. And most of the time it saves an already strained budget

    • Rebecca Williamson November 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

      I love “hearing” you say how freeing it feels, Toni.
      Enjoy your Holiday Season.

  • Susanne November 1, 2016 at 9:55 am

    You are definitely spot on with all of your suggestions! Such a great post and you are so real….I Lol’d a lot while reading this, tou made my day ? I really need to work on saying no!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 1, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Ahh…Thanks Susanne. That means a lot to me!!
      I struggle with saying no, also.
      There are times when I remind myself instead of an automatic YES I’ll say “Thank you, let me think about it”.

  • Victoria Osborn November 1, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I love this Rebecca! So many great suggestions here to help keep the holidays simple and enjoyable. I was laughing while reading this because I have a “Great Aunt Matilda” (her name will remain nameless) who brings some interesting food dishes that everyone just kinds of forks around their plates! 😉

    Thanks for sharing my holiday guide as well!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Oh My Gosh, Victoria!!! “Forks around their plates” is a great Holiday tip for those awkward family dinners! Your guide is PERFECT for this post.
      I appreciate you letting me share!

  • Jen Enoch November 1, 2016 at 11:23 am

    LOVE!! I’m all about making sure the holiday is stress free. Though I do have to admit, it’s really hard, especially towards the end. I tend to get roped in… But I always have good intentions! This will be the year! Thanks for sharing, great read!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      I know exactly what you mean, Jen. I have the urge for “One more thing” or “Is it enough?” as Christmas approaches. I have to talk myself down before I give in to the madness!

  • Ellie November 3, 2016 at 8:59 am

    This is such a fantastic post that I am bookmarking. It’s crazy how the Christmas season becomes such a huge Stress Factor for so many, we focus on being the next Martha Stewart so much that we run ourselves down and then snap at loved ones. and yet it’s supposed to be a Season of Family-time and happiness. Such a great write-up!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 3, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you so much, Ellie. That means a lot to me! “Run ourselves down and snap at loved ones”! YES YES YES! That is so true. May your Holiday season be a time of joy for you and yours!

  • Leanna November 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I loved the part where you said… mark down a no obligation day. do it now. I will wait. I burst out laughing. My favorite part of the holidays is all the prep work, once they are actually here it is very quiet at my house. Thanks for posting.

    • Rebecca Williamson November 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      The big question is, Leanna…Did you go and mark your calendar? (no judgement zone!) Once it’s quiet at your house I’ll be over! Joy and Peace to you this Holiday season. Thank you for reading and commenting!! I appreciate you!

  • Amber Harrop November 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I love this post – I must try and relax and think the holidays through 🙂 and how many Christmas trees do you have ?

    • Rebecca Williamson November 4, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Amber, I love that-think the Holidays through!! I “only” have 5 trees..but I think this may be the year I increase that number! 🙂

  • Becky November 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Aww…I love this post so much! Such great reminders to actually enjoy the holiday season, instead of just pretending to for the photos!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you, Becky! Aren’t the REAL photos better. The ones where the baby is crying, the dog is pooping, and Mom is rolling her eyes at all of it!

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  • Erin November 28, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Beautiful post! This is a whole new approach to the season! I loved how it was so much more than “here’s five ways to stay in spirit, 1,2,3,4,5” but was more in depth and had some new but pretty good tips in there!

    • Rebecca Williamson November 28, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Thank you, Erin. What a compliment. My prayer is to encourage others because of the gift of encouragement I receive through comments like this.
      I wish you a Holiday Season filled with things that go beyond gifts.

  • Abbey November 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

    This is a beautiful post! It is so important to be intentional during the holidays! 🙂

  • bianca November 30, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I love this post ! thanks for sharing the holiday’s most days can be so stressful and hard to deal with. I love the idea of creating new traditions!

    • Rebecca Williamson December 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Bianca. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful Holiday season.

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