You want a good holiday season. But you’re a human holding tough things. So how can you–and all of us–enjoy the holidays? Here’s 7 practical tips I believe will help all of us live the holidays fully and without regret.

1. Create boundaries.

When I say create boundaries, I mean it. Create them everywhere and be ruthless. Social media, entertainment, how you spend your evenings, your morning routine, all the things you can think of that need intentional care. We should always have boundaries in our lives, but during the holidays it’s good to reevaluate and adjust where needed. Create boundaries that clear clutter out of your mind and help you more easily choose the valuable ways to finish your year well. Without extra noise, you will have the capacity to slow down and savor your life as it is today, and this makes your holidays much more meaningful.
2. Pour out your heart before God (a lot!).

The tough stuff in your life doesn’t take a holiday AND THAT IS OKAY! Keep pouring out your heart before God. Share your emotions, surrender your fears, keep a very open, long conversation with God all day long. Especially at night. Grab a prayer journal that prompts you with questions and helps you unravel just how cumbersome your heart is. Genuine, deep communication with God is sweet. It will make your holidays less scary, less lonely, and less difficult.

3.Take charge of your holidays and make them special for others.

Throw a party. Schedule a holiday coffee chat. Put together a special gift for a friend. When you do things for others, it’s amazing the hundreds of good memories you can make despite the hard things which persist (and persist for everyone!). And ANYONE in ANY season can take charge of their holidays and do it exceptionally well!

4. Cultivate quiet and consider the kindness of God.

Look back and see just how much change God has worked within your heart this year. And don’t you love knowing God is not bound by calendar years? January 1st can feel scary to us, but it’s just another day God has a made. . .another day of His light, His goodness, abundance and life! God doesn’t do His great, glory-filled, good work based on our fear and understanding of time.

Breathe. Consider. The truth is whether or not you’ve noticed it, the kindness of God has been present for every day of your life in 2019! Rest assured His glory and goodness is not bound by the holidays. Renew your mind by taking the time to see the kindness of God in your life and acknowledging that His kindness and love is a part of your life even when you can’t humanly “feel” it. Trusting God for who He says He is will transform your holidays and change your life.

5. Send a Christmas card.

I don’t care if you think you’re where “you’re supposed to be in life,” send that Christmas card! Get creative. Have fun with it. Put together your favorite photos. Send to close family and friends. Keep one for your own fridge or dorm room or coffee corner. Your year is worth remembering. YOU DON’T NEED A SPOUSE OR CUTE KIDS TO SEND A CARD! Also if make a Christmas card, send me one please!!!

6. HELLOO! You get another round of holidays. Give thanks. Live thankful.

You could look at this holiday season and dwell on every painful thing about your life OR you could embrace the gift of another round of holidays. You could be thankful for a million and one things like safety, laughter, hope, healing, strength to endure, lighthearted moments in the midst of heartache. . .and all those other good things as real as the pain you experience. This is not to say you ignore your pain or refuse to acknowledge it, but it does you mean you choose to dwell on the whole truth of your life not just the painful parts.

7. Embrace candid enjoyment over meticulous & previous expectation.

Just enjoy the holidays as they come. They won’t be perfect, but as you keep pouring your heart out before God, making special memories for others, cultivating quiet and gratitude, you will be AMAZED at the unplanned, candid, meaningful moments you’ll get to enjoy. This is the holiday season set before you. This is the life God’s given you and no matter how it looks or feels or seems, God is doing LIFE with your life! So choose to live it.

Participate in your life!

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