I have a challenge for you. Don’t worry, it’s a simple challenge, a challenge that will make the rest of this year feel more intentional, stress free and fun.
This challenge includes two words: slow down. I know. I know. You’re probably thinking, “but there’s so much to do! I still need to buy and wrap Christmas presents. I still need to make goodies for my neighbors. I still need to take my kids to see Santa . . . etc.” With the holidays rolling in, the season’s extravagant traditions feel important and non-negotiable, and with everyone else taking part in all the fun it’s easy for us to feel like we need to as well.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but here’s a thought. What if it’s possible to have both? What if it’s possible for us to slow down, while also enjoying all the festivities that come with this special time of year?
You can find the solution by asking yourself these questions. What are my priorities? What traditions light your heart on fire with joy? What activities inspire your kids to feel the Christmas spirit? What did you enjoy when you were a child? Do I feel like I should do this, or do I want to do this?
When you ask yourself these questions, take time to reflect on what it is that is truly important to you and your family, regardless of the people around you.
Maybe your family loves all the tinsel, bright blue and red lights, gold bells, ornaments and lawn displays that you can get your hands on, but maybe taking your kids to see Santa is less your style. Instead, maybe a quiet evening, sitting around the Christmas tree laughing, singing and watching A Christmas Carol feel smore enjoyable. Maybe your family loves baking cookies and cakes through the entire month of December but decorating the home exterior couldn’t sound less appealing to you.
My point is: slow down by letting go of the idea that you have to do all of it. Slow down by putting your energy into the things that bring life and excitement to you and your children, rather than strip your energy.
Next time you feel like you have to check that next item off your to-do list, sit down and watch your children light up with the simple pleasures of a candy cane, a pan of warm snickerdoodle cookies, a snow day, a wintery icicle and the perfect cup of hot cocoa.
Watch their little eyes glisten with contentment, as you realize their natural ability to turn an ordinary thing into magic. Their hearts don’t need a packed schedule to find the magic of Christmas. Their growing hearts need love and a schedule full of time for imagination and play.
Speaking of hot cocoa, start slowing down this season by spending the afternoon making the recipe below with your kids! Take a picture and tag us on Instagram at stairslide.
The Perfect Cup of Hot Cocoa
4 cups of whole milk
¼ cup of coco powder
¼ cup of honey or maple syrup
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Salt
*add a pinch of cinnamon to taste (not required)
Place milk, cocoa, sweetener of choice, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan. Turn stove on medium heat and whisk ingredients until combined. Add cinnamon if you’d like. To avoid burning, whisk until light simmer. Pour the hot cocoa into individual mugs and ENJOY!
*makes 4 servings