One of the lessons I’m still learning after eight years as a mom is to play to my strengths when it comes to making memories with my children. I avoid spending excessive energy trying to be someone I’m not just to check a motherhood box I thought was mandatory.
Among other things, I want my kids to remember that I…
Spent lots of time with them
Was characteristically joyful & kind
Made the everyday stuff fun & special
Wove Jesus & the gospel into normal life
There are many ways to accomplish those goals, and I believe one of the best strategies is to capitalize on the gifts and passions God has given ME instead of trying to be someone I’m not.
So what does that look like practically at Christmas time?
It looks like spending hours and hours reading Christmas books aloud. It looks like turning up the holiday music and dancing in the living room. It looks like setting aside one specific day to make one kind of festive treat, not five, and calling that good in the baking department. It looks like hyping everyone up for a drive in pajamas to look at Christmas lights. It looks like a family movie night with popcorn. It looks like printing holiday coloring pages and turning on a seasonal audiobook.
These are things I’m good at. They’re realistic plans I can most likely make reality without losing sleep or sanity. They bring me joy—joy that naturally spills over to my family. This doesn’t mean I never step out of my comfort zone to serve my family, but I am careful about how much I expend on areas that are not in my wheelhouse.
Reading may not be your strength, but you may crush it at crafting with your littles, playing pretend with their toy manger scene alongside them, or planning a holiday-themed scavenger hunt. You may spend a morning stringing popcorn and cranberries and making homemade Christmas gifts together. HOORAY for YOU! Play to YOUR strengths, Mama. Not to mine. Celebrate the many types of moms you see enjoying the holidays with their little ones, and choose to be inspired, yes, but not overwhelmed or pressured. You are their mama for a reason. Let Jesus shine through the gifts He has granted.