Do you have Christmas fever, but don’t want to give in? Here are 5 home remedies I’m using to stay present in November:
1. Hang your winter lights.
Twinkly lights do wonders for a sense of calm and joy. It’s no surprise that my stress level and depression rise within weeks after taking down the Christmas decorations. A few years ago, I left up some indoor light strands after Christmas, and it made a world of difference. Now, I hang them up right after the devil’s holiday (also known as the day Daylight Savings Time Ends). Hang a string of cafe lights in your living room, or loop a strand of fairy lights around a house plant or door frame. Enjoy this subtle decoration for a few weeks before you deck the halls.
2. Embrace THANKS!
I love giving gifts, so Christmas is my love-language Superbowl. But for too many Novembers I’ve missed the season of mindfulness. I’m too busy with gift-giving to notice the gifts I’ve been given. This November, I’m sending Thank-You cards as a gratitude practice. I have so many people to thank in my life (especially those who sent care during our covid-19 isolation). Plus, these beautiful thank you cards are a luxury to write on AND the company is eco- & human-rights-friendly, and donates 10% of all proceeds to help local refugees. (Find them at Pen + Pillar.)
3. Sing a New Song:
I am a sucker for Christmas music, especially when it snows (Wyoming gets snow in October so….). I’m also the person who get’s sick of Christmas songs by December 15. This year, I built a Thanksgiving playlist of worship songs, hymns, and instrumentals that harken to the season of gratitude. If you’d like some ideas for your own playlist, check out my Instagram posts.
Open your mouths with thanks! Sing praises to the Eternal! Strum the harp in unending praise to our God. Psalm 147:7 (The Voice Translation)
4. Pray about your next Word of the Year.
Advent is my favorite time on the calendar. The last 3 years, I’ve made it my intention to rest and lean in close to Immanuel. I let myself get distracted by worship, lost in His Word, and completely overtaken by the magic of knowing Jesus. I have no regrets about what I let “slide” in December because I am enraptured with the gospel story. However, one thing I do flinch about every January is my under-preparedness to embrace my Word of the Year. So I’m giving it some thought and prayer now, instead of scrambling later. If you already picked a Word for 2021, why not make a Word of the Year Inspiration Board?
5. Create a Gratitude Garland.
This tradition gives me something non-Christmasy to look forward to every November. We start by stringing a few faux leaves together. It looks bare to start, but the fullness by the end of November is a powerful visual. Next, we cut out tracings of the kids’ hands on fall-colored construction paper. Each day, we write what we are thankful for on a hand or two and tape them to the strand between the leaves. Nothing too fancy, but it makes a statement. We have 3 years of gratitude garlands now, and it is pure magic to read our gratitude notes and see how the little cut-out hands get bigger every year.
If all else fails…
If you are still fighting those Christmas fever symptoms, may I extend a warm embrace toward you in all your red and green glory? Why fight it? It’s been a year unlike any other. So put up the tree, hang the garland, blast the Christmas carols, and let all remind you to make a little more room in your heart for King Jesus.
Whether you embrace Christmas fever or deflect it till after Thanksgiving, may your November be blessed beyond measure in the gratitude for Christ our Savior.