I’m following my own advice in writing this post and keeping it simple. No fluff here. I don’t have time for that today but I do have some words that I know someone out there needs to hear with their “eye ears”.
So lean in and listen up all you over achievers, worn out mama’s and frustrated hostesses. I’m your people. I get you. I’m with you! These are five traditions that we need to toss. I’m also including their replacement. Out with the old and in with the new. Honestly, some of these issues we hold on to as if they were a tradition. Let’s see things differently this holiday season. Let’s do this holiday season differently. Together. Shall we?
1. Toss it! – Busyness
We hear this every holiday season but some of us don’t listen well. Our culture is one of “energizer bunny” expectations. We get caught up in that without even knowing and rush from here to there, doing this and that. Our heads hit the pillow and we wonder what we did all day and if anything we did truly held meaning.
Replace it with a tradition of peace.
Add “peace” to your to-do list. Seriously. Add it as a line item on your list. If you get to the end of your day and you haven’t had at least a few moments of peace that you can track back to, it’s time to reevaluate.
My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful. John 14:27
2. Toss it! – Exhaustion
Paired with busyness comes the inevitable exhaustion. I’ve learned that overworking myself usually ends up with me being sick and in bed for days. It starts with me doing a ton of stuff I don’t even enjoy doing. I realize we have to do things we don’t enjoy, like scrubbing toilets and changing poopy diapers, but we work ourselves to the bone thinking we have to do it all. Hear me say, “You don’t have to do it all!”
Replace it with a tradition of rest.
Love yourself well. Then you can love others well. Even Jesus rested. He devoted a whole day to it. If you can’t take a day, at least take a nap.
Unless the Eternal builds the house, those who labor to raise it will have worked for nothing. Unless the Eternal stands watch over the city, those who guard it have wasted their time. God provides for His own. It is pointless to get up early, work hard, and go to bed late anxiously laboring for food to eat; for God provides for those He loves, even while they are sleeping. Psalm 127:1-2
3. Toss it! – Bad Attitude
Stepping on some toes here? Yeah, mine hurt too. Holiday season brings out the ugly in us. With our families, with our spouses, with the cashier at the department store who also has a bad attitude, on the road. We are on a mission and “you” are in my way. Can we agree to be kind this season?
Replace it with a tradition of kindness.
Instead of killing someone with our car, let’s “kill them with kindness”. Blow people’s minds this year and choose kind words and actions. There’s a really good chance they will follow you in that.
It’s the same with people. A person full of goodness in his heart produces good things; a person with an evil reservoir in his heart pours out evil things. The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart. Luke 6:45
4. Toss it! – Greed
Having just seen the chaos that Black Friday creates (which starts way before Friday these days), do we really need more stuff? Skip the stores as much as you can. I mean we have to get stuff but the getting of it shouldn’t be our driving force. My husband used to tell our kids, “Want in one hand, sneeze in the other and see which one fills up faster.” Pretty solid advice. Ask yourself, “Do I need this or do I just want it?”
Replace it with a tradition of giving.
Greed and generosity cannot coexist. Be thoughtful and intentional in regards to what you have to offer to others. And giving doesn’t have to involve money. Give of your most valuable resource – time.
So give generously to the person in need. Don’t feel badly about this when you’re doing it; because of your generosity, the Eternal your God will bless you in everything you do, in every project you begin. Deuteronomy 15:10
5. Toss it! – Competition
We drive ourselves crazy over the holidays trying to have the best outdoor decorations, the best door wreath, the best looking and tasting cookies, the cutest outfit. The best this and the cutest that. If you love doing that stuff then do it! But only if it fills you. If it brings you joy. If you’re doing things this season that are simply to keep up with others or for the praise of it, please do everyone a favor and let it go. Chances are you’ll kill yourself trying, end up sick from exhaustion and no one is going to appreciate as much as you’d like them to. In my own school of hard knocks, I learned that people would rather come over to an undecorated house and feel welcomed than a decked out Pinterest perfect house and feel on edge. Do you want people to come see your house or to come see you?
Replace it with a tradition of community.
I recently heard Bob Goff say, “Stop inviting and start welcoming.” Light a candle and make the house smell good, maybe pick up the big chunks and then tell your guests to take their shoes off, put their feet on the couch and enjoy the pizza! Competition has no place in community.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
What are some other traditions that we should toss and replace?